From where I'm sitting, the Transportation Security Administration seems to be a
wasteful, incompetent bureaucracy, one of America's leading suppliers of red tape, and a
subscriber to the FBI's secret No Fly List.
What's with this No Fly List, anyway? If there are people who are so dangerous that
they can't be allowed aboard an airplane, why aren't these people under arrest? Would
these suspicious individuals be any less of a threat on an Amtrak train, a cruise ship,
or even a bus?
Waters among lawmakers accused of using air marshals as a 'concierge service'. Rep. Maxine Waters
(D-Calif.) may not be the biggest fan of police, but she apparently has no qualms about federal air marshals. The
liberal lawmaker is among the members of Congress from both parties accused of turning a program created to protect airline
passengers in the wake of 9/11 into a "concierge service," Fox News reported Friday [5/14/2021]. According to the Air
Marshal National Council union, lawmakers began requesting extra protection while traveling to and from their
districts — and even while going on vacation — in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the US
Capitol. In response to those requests, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allegedly began pulling
marshals from flights deemed "high-risk" so that they could protect members of Congress instead.
TSA Explains Allowing Illegal Immigrants to Fly With You. The Transportation Security Administration has an
"established process" for identifying illegal immigrants who board domestic flights to a new home in America, a spokeswoman
told The Daily Signal, although the Biden administration formally refers to this population as "undocumented." The TSA
was responding to a Daily Signal report Friday about such commercial flights carrying illegal aliens —
specifically one that departed McAllen International Airport in Texas the day before — and the security waiver
necessary for them to board without showing required identification. Amid the new surge of illegal immigrants at the
southern border, the Biden administration has facilitated putting some of them on flights to cross the United States to new
destinations at taxpayers' expense.
extends mask mandate for planes, public transportation in U.S. until September. The Transportation Security
Administration announced Friday that it has extended through Sept. 13 its orders requiring people to wear masks in
transportation settings, including at airports, on commercial aircraft, and on buses and trains. TSA officials said the
extension of the mask requirement is consistent with updated policies from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. The TSA requirement had been set to expire May 11. "The federal mask requirement throughout the
transportation system seeks to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on public transportation," Darby LaJoye, a senior TSA
official, said in a statement. "About half of all adults have at least one vaccination shot and masks remain an
important tool in defeating this pandemic."
stowaway' escapes facility, busted again at Chicago airport. The Chicago woman who has managed to sneak past
airport security and board dozens of flights without a ticket allegedly escaped from an electronic monitoring residential
facility before returning to the airport. "Serial stowaway" Marilyn Hartman was taken into custody at O'Hare Airport
after fleeing the court-ordered facility Tuesday, according to WGN. Investigators were able to arrest Hartman at the
international airport thanks to her tracking device, the report said. The 69-year-old — who has fooled the
TSA at least 30 times over three decades — was not able to evade the checkpoint this week, and police
picked her up in the airport's non-secure section, the local station reported.
Announces It Could Slap You With a $1500 Fine if You Don't Wear a Mask. [Scroll down] There's just one
problem with that. We already have something that gives us the right to due process — and the right to
decide if and when we wear a coronavirus face bag. It's called the U.S. Constitution. Executive orders signed by
the man or woman sitting behind the Resolute Desk are not laws. And that line about the process possibly being a long
one? Sounds like it might skirt several basic rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Also, isn't the TSA
supposed to be about keeping us safe from terrorists? Nothing in this big government power grab has a thing to do with
handling that task, as far as I can tell.
Use of the No-Fly List as a political weapon: Dem
congressman suggests Cruz, Hawley be placed on no-fly list. A top Democrat said Monday that Republicans could
end up on the no-fly list for actions surrounding last week's assault on the Capitol by supporters of President Trump.
House Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie G. Thompson specifically listed Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, who
helped lead an objection to counting some Electoral College votes — just as Mr. Trump was riling up
supporters over the same matter. Those supporters would later attack Congress. Asked [...] whether the no-fly
sanction should be applied if they are found liable, Mr. Thompson said "there's no question about it."
airport sees delays after TSA agent tests positive for coronavirus: reports. Travelers using one of America's
busiest airports faced delays Wednesday after a Transportation Security Administration agent tested positive for the
coronavirus. The diagnosis prompted officials at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia to shut
down the airport's main security checkpoint for a thorough biohazard cleaning, FOX 5 of Atlanta reported. Long lines
were seen at the airport's North Checkpoint after travelers were rerouted there, according to the station.
How much are we paying for the TSA? How many people got fired over this incident? Report
details how woman without ticket boarded Delta flight. A woman without a ticket or government-issued ID walked
past a Transportation Security Administration agent and entered a terminal at Orlando International Airport in October by
blending in with a group of people, a report said. She then boarded a Delta flight bound for Atlanta by pretending to
be a wheelchair passenger, according to a TSA report.
TSA officers in 7 different states have tested positive for coronavirus. As the coronavirus continues to spread
throughout the country, 30 Transportation Safety Administration airport employees have now tested positive for the
virus. TSA employees, most of them working directly with the public as security screeners, have tested positive for
COVID-19 in at least seven states and one U.S. territory as of Monday [3/23/2020].
block measure to prevent terrorists from working at TSA. Well, not just terrorists, but that's probably the
more alarming part of the headline. With all of the coronavirus and Democratic primary news swamping the networks, you
might think that Congress was basically shut down, but it turns out that they're actually trying to get some work done.
One example of this effort was a vote this week on the Rights for Transportation Security Officers Act. The bill is
designed to bring the handling of TSA employees more in line with other federal workers, possibly making it easier to attract
new applicants. But as part of the process, an amendment was offered that would require screening applicants and
conducting background checks. These would specifically prevent the hiring of people convicted of sexual assault and
other violent crimes or those whose names appear on the terror watch lists. Given all of the complaints about TSA
agents misbehaving when screening travelers at airports, that seems to make sense, doesn't it? Apparently not to a lot
of the House Democrats.
The Editor says...
That's because the TSA workers are unionized, and their union dues go right back to the Democrats.
TSA & Security Theater: Understanding American Airport Security Following 9/11. Following the attacks of
September 11th, Congress passed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA), creating the Transportation Security
Agency (TSA). The TSA replaced private security screening companies with one government agency. Since then, air
travelers have bowed to pat downs, bans on water bottles and other inconvenient, intrusive procedures as the "new normal" at
our nation's airports. But does any of this make us safer? The short answer is no, it doesn't. What's more,
laid out below is the quantifiable evidence that the TSA is a massive boondoggle that has done little to keep Americans safe
while they travel. Indeed, it might make us less safe by providing a false sense of security, as American politicians
shy away from ever questioning the efficacy of the TSA (or other elements deemed necessary for "homeland security").
Perhaps more disturbing is the established record of TSA agents stealing from passengers. You're far more likely to get
robbed by a TSA agent than you are to get protected by one, a shorthand for the bureaucratic state if there ever was one.
from the pointless burdens of the TSA. The people shuffle along, shoeless, ready for their full-body
check. Their belongings have been taken from them. If they question any part of this, in any way, they are
quickly removed and taken to an undisclosed location. No, it's not prison — it's the security check at your
local airport. Why do we stand for it? The Transportation Security Administration was established in the wake of
9/11, when Congress passed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act. Before that, private security agencies hired
by the airlines handled security at the airports.
Lets Airlines Rush Security to Keep Traffic Moving — "Red Carpet" for Middle Eastern Carriers. The
massive agency created after 9/11 to protect the nation risks security at U.S. airports by letting airlines impose expedited
measures to keep traffic flowing, according to government officials interviewed by Judicial Watch. "The airlines call
the shots," said a veteran federal agent who has worked at one of the nation's largest airports as well as the Mexican and
Canadian border. "It's all about facilitating traffic, moving people. Airlines have incredible power at airports
and they dictate how Customs and Border Protection (CPB) entry/exit inspection agents do their job." In fact, airline
employees are allowed in the inspections/customs area for incoming passengers specifically to monitor wait times and file
complaints with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which caters to them.
Massive Hole in TSA Security. Next time you're waiting in your socks as your luggage is rifled through by
security at the TSA checkpoint, you might reflect on how unchecked people and vehicles are getting through security in other
parts of the airport.
This is exactly what the TSA is supposed to prevent: TSA
allowing illegal migrants to fly without proper documents. The federal agency tasked with overseeing security
at transportation hubs has been violating its own policy by allowing migrants who have been released from federal custody
onto flights despite not having required documents, according to several Department of Homeland Security officials. For
the past six months, the Transportation Security Administration has allowed migrants released from the custody of other
Homeland Security agencies to board flights to other parts of the country despite the passengers lacking any of the 15
documents it states are the only acceptable forms of identification.
Are Getting So Desperate At The Border, They're Deploying The TSA. The Department of Homeland Security is
"retasking" hundreds of Transportation Security Administration employees to the United States-Mexico border to assist with
the frontline immigration process in an effort to relieve some of the pressure on United States Customs and Border Patrol,
and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Dem calls for defunding Homeland Security, after insisting TSA workers get backpay. While there have been
growing calls from Democrats to abolish ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), there hasn't been a strong demand to
defund the entire Department of Homeland Security, which also includes the Transportation Safety Administration, Secret
Service, Coast Guard and Federal Emergency Management Agency. But just an hour before calling for DHS to be defunded,
as Fox News anchor Rob Schmidt points out, Omar tweeted her outrage on behalf of TSA workers in Minnesota who haven't
received back pay due to the recent partial government shutdown. "Ilhan Omar angry and complaining TSA agents haven't
received back pay," Schmitt writes, "then an hour later calls to defund DHS... which would end TSA."
Jared Cook Says Desperation Caused by Government Shutdown Caused TSA to Steal His Shoes. Oakland Raiders tight
end Jared Cook has accused the TSA of stealing several costly items out of his luggage at Orlando International Airport, due
to government workers suffering during the partial shutdown. In an interview conducted in Florida, Cook noted that he
had several personal items disappear from his luggage as he made his way to the Pro Bowl this week. "The great folks at
TSA went through my bag and stole my shoes, and some of my clothes," Cook told Vegas Sports Daily.
Trump Gets His Wall Funding, He Should Fire The TSA. In their constant search for shutdown-related disasters,
the media are now fixated on airport screeners. The shutdown is wreaking havoc on airports, they say. Except that
it isn't. The shutdown does, however, present an opportunity to re-privatize the troublesome TSA.
Border Patrol and the
TSA [were] allowed to secretly spy on everyone's social media accounts. The U.S. Border Patrol (CBP) and the TSA claim
they need to secretly spy on everyone's social media accounts so they can understand a person's relationship with their friends, family
and the government. According to a DHS report published last month, nothing can stop the Border Patrol or the TSA from secretly
spying on everyone's social media accounts. "In order to conduct a complete investigation, it is necessary for DHS/CBP to collect
and review large amounts of data in order to identify and understand relationships between individuals, entities, threats and events,
and to monitor patterns of activity over extended periods of time that may be indicative of criminal, terrorist, or other threat."
Understanding a person's relationship with "entities" is just a euphemism for the government. The Feds want to know if you are
anti-government an activist or a protester.
of TSA workers calling in sick amid government shutdown. Hundreds of Transportation Security Administration
workers called off work sick this week after being forced to work without pay during the now 14-day partial government
shutdown, union and agency officials said. Hydrick Thomas, president of the national TSA employee union, told CNN that
up to 170 employees called in sick each day this week at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York
City. Other workers were forced to cover the shifts by working extra hours. And there's been a three-fold spike
in call-outs at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
TSA screeners, working without pay, calling out sick at major airports. Hundreds of Transportation Security
Administration officers, who are required to work without paychecks through the partial government shutdown, have called out
from work this week from at least four major airports, according to two senior agency officials and three TSA employee union
officials. The mass call outs could inevitably mean air travel is less secure, especially as the shutdown enters its
second week with no clear end to the political stalemate in sight.
the Quiet Skies. Federal air marshals have begun following ordinary US citizens not suspected of a crime or on
any terrorist watch list and collecting extensive information about their movements and behavior under a new domestic
surveillance program that is drawing criticism from within the agency. The previously undisclosed program, called
"Quiet Skies," specifically targets travelers who "are not under investigation by any agency and are not in the Terrorist
Screening Data Base," according to a Transportation Security Administration bulletin in March.
may stop screening passengers at 150 airports. The TSA is considering nixing passenger screening at more than
150 airports across the country, a new report reveals. The proposal, laid out in documents by a TSA working group,
would get rid of screening at some small and medium-size airports serving aircraft with 60 or fewer seats, according to CNN.
If the passengers on those planes are connecting at a larger airport, they would instead be screened there. The
documents say there could be some risk associated with the move, stating there would be "small (non-zero) undesirable
increase in risk related to additional adversary opportunity." The move would save $114 million per year, the
May Be Secretly Watched by the TSA on Your Next Airplane Flight. A government surveillance program that
secretly monitors Americans on domestic flights, even if they are not suspected of any crime and have no ties to terrorism,
is being questioned by civil liberties advocates and the general public. The program — called "Quiet Skies"
by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) — has been in existence since 2010, when Barack Obama was in
the White House. But it was disclosed to the general public this past weekend via reporting by The Boston Globe.
Flying the quiet skies. Federal air marshals
have begun following ordinary US citizens not suspected of a crime or on any terrorist watch list and collecting extensive
information about their movements and behavior under a new domestic surveillance program that is drawing criticism from
within the agency. The previously undisclosed program, called "Quiet Skies," specifically targets travelers who "are
not under investigation by any agency and are not in the Terrorist Screening Data Base," according to a Transportation
Security Administration bulletin in March. The internal bulletin describes the program's goal as thwarting threats to
commercial aircraft "posed by unknown or partially known terrorists," and gives the agency broad discretion over which air
travelers to focus on and how closely they are tracked.
adding more bomb dogs, screeners to deal with surging summer travel season. The Transportation Security
Administration plans to hire hundreds of additional screeners and dozens of new canine teams to its ranks in the coming weeks
to deal with what's expected to be a record number of air travelers this summer. TSA expects to screen more than 243 million
passengers at airports around the country, up from the 239 million screened last year between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Last
summer included four of the 10 busiest days in the agency's 15-year history, but this year could see new daily records.
Tech student questioned by TSA for brandishing school's 'finger gun' salute. Taking a semester off from Texas
Tech University to help her family recover from Hurricane Harvey, Diana Durkin was thrilled to return to campus for her
sophomore year. But ironically, it was her enthusiasm that nearly halted her plans when she was stopped by the TSA
before a Jan. 6 flight out of William P. Hobby Airport in Houston.
Agents Don't Know What The District Of Columbia Is. Transportation Security Administration officers continue to
be confused about their nation's capitol. District of Columbia Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton sent a letter Tuesday
to TSA Administrator David Pekoske Wednesday about a Washington, D.C. resident who had issues at the Newark International
Airport with her driver's license. Holmes Norton said that a TSA officer denied that the I.D. was valid and had to
consult with colleagues before allowing the D.C. resident to catch her flight.
TSA: Total Security Abyss.
Last summer, the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general raised the alarm on the TSA's faulty aviation worker
vetting process. The IG's testing showed "that TSA did not identify 73 individuals with terrorism-related category
codes because TSA is not authorized to receive all terrorism-related information under current interagency watchlisting
policy." Nor does the transportation bureaucracy have effective controls in place for ensuring that its employees "had not
committed crimes that would disqualify them from having unescorted access to secure airports areas" and "had lawful status
and were authorized to work in the United States." On top of that, "thousands of records used for vetting workers
contained potentially incomplete or inaccurate data, such as an initial for a first name and missing social security
numbers," investigators found. "TSA did not have appropriate edit checks in place to reject such records from vetting."
Stunningly, the IG disclosed that TSA has had to "deny credentials to 4,800 individuals that the airports had previously cleared
for work in the United States because it could not verify lawful status for those individuals."
Busted In Massive $100 Million, 40,000 Lb Cocaine Smuggling Conspiracy. In a case highlighting the infiltration
of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) by transnational criminal organizations, twelve current and former TSA
officers and airport staff were indicted for allegedly trafficking over 20 tons of cocaine — worth over
$100 million — into the U.S. over an 18-years timeframe. Last Wednesday [2/8/2017], a federal grand jury
returned an indictment against the twelve defendants, who are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.
Illusion of Freedom: The Police State Is Alive and Well. [Scroll down] In fact, the American police state has continued to advance at the same
costly, intrusive, privacy-sapping, Constitution-defying, relentless pace under President Trump as it did under President Obama. [...] The TSA hasn't stopped
groping or ogling travelers. Under the pretext of protecting the nation's infrastructure (roads, mass transit systems, water and power supplies, telecommunications
systems and so on) against criminal or terrorist attacks, TSA task forces (comprised of federal air marshals, surface transportation security inspectors, transportation
security officers, behavior detection officers and explosive detection canine teams) continue to do random security sweeps of nexuses of transportation, including ports,
railway and bus stations, airports, ferries and subways, as well as political conventions, baseball games and music concerts. Sweep tactics include the use
of x-ray technology, pat-downs and drug-sniffing dogs, among other things.
TSA awaits new director as glitches mount. February isn't over yet, but already this month, the list of TSA glitches is
stacking up: • On Monday, 11 people walked through a security lane at New York's John F. Kennedy
International Airport without being screened; • Last week, TSA employees were indicted for smuggling cocaine from
Puerto Rico • Earlier this month, a House Homeland Security Committee report indicated the TSA failed to properly
vet and screen potential employees, uncovering examples of "insider threats" within U.S. airports. John Halinski, a former TSA deputy
administrator, said the agency is in dire need of a leader.
workers helped Puerto Rico-based ring smuggle $100M of cocaine, prosecutors say. Prosecutors in Puerto Rico
have smashed a ring of current and former U.S. Transportation Security Administration workers that allegedly smuggled 20 tons
of cocaine worth as much as $100 million into the U.S. over more than a decade. [...] Authorities said the federal employees used
their positions as TSA baggage screeners to wave massive amounts of coke through security.
The TSA Continues to Excel. Excellence, TSA style, is in the news
again, this time for its agents' merry participation in a cocaine smuggling ring that has been running through Puerto Rico
since prior to the misbegotten agency's existence. Not surprisingly, the smugglers found that TSA employees, far from
threatening the criminal enterprise, were delighted to join in.
to deny 9 state licenses as valid ID for domestic travel. If you're like most Americans, you use a driver's
license to get through security at the airport. Well, the rules on what makes that license a valid form of federal ID
are changing. It's a process more than a decade in the making. In 2005, Congress passed the Real ID Act. It
sets stricter and more secure requirements for state driver's licenses and identification cards.
Licenses From Nine States Won't Be Valid IDs for Domestic Flights in 2018. Beginning Jan. 22, 2018, travelers
from nine states will no longer be able to travel with only their driver's licenses. Residents of Kentucky, Maine,
Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington will have to use alternate ID forms
(passport, military ID, or permanent resident card) to pass TSA security checkpoints — even for domestic
travel. On Thursday [12/22/2016], the TSA began placing signage around airport security checkpoints to inform travelers
of the new rules going into effect in 2018.
Official Admits No Federal Air Marshals Are Allowed on Non-Chartered US-Cuba Commercial Flights. At a House Homeland
Security Committee hearing Wednesday [9/14/2016], a top Transportation Security Administration official admitted that federal
air marshals are not currently allowed on non-chartered commercial flights between the U.S. and Cuba, despite reports to the
contrary. Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) questioned Dr. Huban Gowardia, deputy administrator for the Transportation
Security Administration, about a draft agreement between the TSA and the Cuban government which would allow federal air
marshals on commercial flights.
Expands Bureaucracy, Spending, and Regulation Without Improving Safety. There is an agency in Washington that
spends over $7 billion per year and employs about 60,000 people nationwide, yet fails to do its one job 95% of the time when
tested. Nearly half of the agency's employees have received complaints for misconduct in the last three years.
Private companies providing the identical services are 65% more efficient while costing taxpayers less money. This
agency is regularly exposed for thefts, assaults, spending millions on useless equipment, and punishing attempted
whistleblowers. American citizens are subjected to delays, humiliations, and constitutional rights violations at the
hands of this agency. The agency's response to all these failures: give us more money. No one
will be surprised that this a description of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Monument to Idiocy.
[Scroll down] But such logic was ignored in the frenzy to do something after September 11. The Bush White House,
anxious for quick action, caved to public pressure and promised to sign whatever bill emerged from Congress, even if it was
the Democrats' version. The Republicans won a few concessions — the TSA wouldn't be unionized, and a few
airports could experiment with their own screening systems — but the Democrats prevailed in creating another
federal bureaucracy, with utterly predictable results. Soon travelers were referring to the TSA as Thousands Standing
Around, and the agency has made headlines ever since for rudeness, inconvenience, and incompetence. The three-hour
lines this summer are just the latest failures of a top-heavy bureaucracy (one administrator for every three screeners) and
a workforce that has gotten even more unmanageable since it was unionized in 2011.
TSA's Screwed Up System For Transporting Firearms. [Scroll down] First of all, lock your case while
transporting your gun in the checked luggage, no matter what he said. Declare your firearm at the ticket counter.
The airline will call for TSA. From here things get confused, like Barney Fife is doing the work. I've had TSA agents
ask me to open my case (which is why I keep the keys to the lock handy). I've had TSA agents look at the weapon, look at the
form I completed asserting that the firearm was unloaded, ask me to lock my case, and then (almost always) throw the form down
on top of the case, NOT inside it (the airlines insist that your form be visible inside the luggage but not inside the gun case,
and they usually request that I simply place it on top of the gun case). Luggage handlers and TSA agents need to be able
to see that there is such a form, and if it's inside the case, they can't. I have always had TSA and the airlines insist
that ammunition be inside the luggage, but not inside the gun case. I've also had TSA agents swipe the inside of the case
(as if looking for residue of some sort, and there will always be residue inside my gun cases), and then ask me to lock my
case. Not once have I ever had an agent verify that my firearm was unloaded.
Agents Beat and Jail Disabled Teen With Brain Cancer. Nineteen-year-old Hannah Cohen and her mother Shirley are suing the
TSA after a Thursday [6/30/2016] incident in which agents at the Memphis International Airport beat and jailed the young woman during a
security check. According to WREG Memphis, the Cohens were traveling from Memphis to Chattanooga, a trip they have been making for
17 years so that Hannah can receive brain cancer treatment at St. Jude Hospital.
TSA Bloodies And Bruises Young Woman During Screening Process. Charges were eventually dropped against Hannah
[Cohen], but her family has filed lawsuits against Memphis Airport, Airport Police, and the Transportation Security
Administration. In response to this horrible event, TSA rep Sari Koshetz said, "Passengers can call ahead of time to
learn more about the screening process for their particular needs or medical situation." This is the same TSA that saw
a staggering 95% failure rate when airport screeners failed to stop Homeland Security agents armed with guns, fake bombs and
other contraband from making it through the screening process 67 out of 70 times during a nation-wide test of the
system. But throw a disabled young woman in their midst, and they'll take her down before you can say abusive behavior.
Family files lawsuit
after TSA agents allegedly assaulted disabled daughter. The family of a disabled St. Jude Hospital patient has filed a lawsuit against
the Transportation Security Administration after officers allegedly left her bruised and bloodied at a Memphis airport Thursday [6/30/2016]. According
to WREG-TV, 19-year-old Hannah Cohen was heading home to Chattanooga after receiving treatment for a brain tumor when there was an incident at the security
checkpoint at Memphis International Airport.
Head Removed from Post. TSA head of security Kelly Hoggan has been removed from his post, according to an
internal memo and the House Oversight Committee. [...] Even after TSA failed to catch fake bombs and banned weapons smuggled
through checkpoints by undercover investigators, Hogan received bonuses totaling $90,000, causing widespread outrage among lawmakers.
He wasn't fired, just moved to a different desk. TSA
boots head of security amid furor over long lines. The Transportation Security Administration ousted its head
of security this week because the agency is seeking a "different approach," not because of any wrongdoing, TSA Administrator
Peter Neffenger said Tuesday [5/24/2016]. Kelly Hoggan was removed from his post amid an uproar over long lines at
airport security checkpoints and intense scrutiny of bonus payments. Neffenger said he hoped to find another place
"for Hoggan's talents" within TSA.
TSA Security Chief Is On Paid Administrative Leave, Collected $90,000 Bonus. The former head of security for
the Transportation Security Administration is on paid administrative leave and will be reassigned, not fired, despite being
replaced after repeated security failures. Deputy TSA administrator Darby LaJoye replaced Kelly Hoggan Monday as
security chief, but did not fire him. Hoggan will reportedly be reassigned and is currently placed on paid
Years, 1 Firing: TSA Shakeup Highlights How Rarely Its Execs Get Canned. What does it take to get fired
from the top ranks of the Transportation Security Agency? It's hard to tell — because it happens so
infrequently. The agency, under fire for long lines at airport checkpoints, security miscues, high turnover rates,
retaliation against whistle blowers and lack of accountability for senior staff, has terminated one executive in the past
five years, according to data provided to NBC News by the federal Office of Personnel Management. By comparison, 6,889
employees who worked under those executives were fired during that time.
The High Price of
Security Theater. Since 2001, the U.S. government has laid out mind-boggling sums to keep the homeland safe
from violent extremists. There was the $30 billion raise for the FBI that didn't see 9/11 coming and $70 billion
for the bureaucrats who have consistently failed to keep our airports safe. Add in more than $200 billion for a new
Cabinet-level department to coordinate all of this activity and half a trillion for mass surveillance, plus the incredible costs
of a decade and a half of military action abroad, and the total comes to a whopping $4 trillion. Where did all that
are fed up with the TSA. Here's why it will be hard to break up with them. The "Screening Partnership Program,"
or SPP, was included in the 2001 law that created the TSA as a way to test whether private security screeners, operating under TSA
oversight, could provide the same level of service as the newly minted security agency. And there are good reasons to think
they could. Multiple studies have found that SPP screeners provide security at least as good as that provided by the TSA.
They've also found that SPP screeners are cheaper and could save as much as $200 million a year if used at major airports across
the U.S. And SPP screeners tend to outperform their TSA counterparts in terms of efficiency and customer satisfaction. One
study found that private screeners at the San Francisco airport were 65 percent more efficient than their federal counterparts in
TSA Spending Millions
on Advertising, PR, Holograms While Travelers Suffer. As travelers suffer through long airport security lines,
the Transportation Security Administration is spending millions on advertising, public relations, new uniforms, and office
furniture. The agency has blamed budget constraints for the nightmarish lines, which have caused 4,000 Americans to
miss their flights and 100 travelers to sleep on cots overnight at Chicago's O'Hare airport. However, an analysis
of recent government contracts reveals that over the past month the TSA has spent more than $2 million on various
services unrelated to increasing manpower or improving security.
Fire The TSA.
If a private company wasted billions of taxpayer dollars, hired workers who failed to do their job 95% of the time, and then
forced people to wait in line for hours, how long do you think they'd be in business? So why is the TSA being treated
any differently? Over the weekend, 400 passengers missed their flights at Chicago O'Hare International Airport because
they were stuck in a TSA line for up to three. Since February, roughly 4,000 passengers have missed flights waiting to
get through security. American Airlines says that, in March alone, 6,800 of its passengers were in TSA lines when their
Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport
a mess after TSA can't check checked bags. Travelers flying out of Phoenix Thursday [5/12/2016] are no doubt
safely at their destinations by now. For their luggage [it is] much different story. After a screening glitch
that lasted hours Thursday [5/12/2016], travelers by the hundreds were left wondering when their belongings would show up.
Thousands of checked bags piled up at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix after technical issues with computer servers prevented the
Transportation Security Administration from using machines to screen the luggage.
rip TSA for $90K bonuses amid failed security tests. House lawmakers on Thursday blasted the Transportation
Security Administration (TSA) for doling out $90,000 in bonuses to one agency official despite a damning report that showed
screeners failing to detect fake bombs and weapons during security tests. Oversight and Government Reform Committee
members pressed TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger, who stepped into the role last summer, on how he is overhauling the agency
in the wake of high-profile security lapses and reports of misconduct.
Airports: We Can No Longer Tolerate TSA's 'Inadequacy'. Management of the New York City area's three
major airports is fed up with long lines at security check points, and they have given the Transportation Security
Administration an ultimatum: Either shorten the lines or we'll find someone else to do it.
Describe TSA as a Dysfunctional Nightmare. As noted here a couple of weeks ago, the TSA experience has become
so flawed that the delays are forcing the airlines to finally weigh in on the problem. New evidence from whistleblowers
inside the agency describe a situation even worse than the public's perception of it.
Beefed up airport security could roil summer travel lines. Bomb blasts in Brussels two weeks ago have caused
U.S. security officials to do a reassessment back home, meaning summer travelers will likely see a bigger police presence and
more random searches before flying this year. TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger told reporters Friday that the agency
has significantly stepped up its visible presence after the Brussels blasts, just one effort to deter would-be copy cats
from targeting U.S. airports and train stations.
The TSA Loves American Travelers. Really, if Tales of the TSA were a work of
fiction, it would have racked up more rejection slips than the initial Harry Potter novel did. Not for lack of entertainment value,
but only because there are too many plot holes in the TSA story. "Which to believe? Boy wizard in a parallel magical universe
invisible to us, or the agency supposed to prevent terrorists boarding planes hired actual terrorists and put them to work groping peaceable
passengers? Gotta go with the wizard kid."
TSA: Total Security Abyss.
[A]s the TSA carries out its multibillion-dollar charade of homeland security on babies' bottles of breast milk, veterans' prosthetic
devices and suburban moms' updos, who is screening the screeners? Last summer, the Department of Homeland Security's inspector
general raised the alarm on the TSA's faulty aviation worker vetting process. The IG's testing showed "that TSA did not identify
73 individuals with terrorism-related category codes because TSA is not authorized to receive all terrorism-related information under
current interagency watchlisting policy." Nor does the transportation bureaucracy have effective controls in place for ensuring
that its employees "had not committed crimes that would disqualify them from having unescorted access to secure airports areas" and
"had lawful status and were authorized to work in the United States."
TSA Cannot Verify Employees' Criminal Histories. Government oversight officials informed Congress on Wednesday [2/3/2016] that the
Transportation Security Administration continues to operate in disarray, failing to record basic security details for thousands of employees and
not tracking official IDs and badges that allow access to the most sensitive areas of an airport. Lawmakers described the security agency
as operating "in chaos" and expressed frustration with Obama administration officials as they informed the House Oversight Committee about a range
of security shortfalls that continue to endanger the nation's 450 commercial airports. TSA's inability to properly screen and track employees
has been well documented for years. However, the administration has failed to enact multiple reforms aimed at tightening security and making
it more efficient, lawmakers said.
What better way to keep an eye on them? 72
employees at DHS on terror watch list. Six dozen DHS employees are on the terror watch list, and the TSA has a
95% failure rate. No further comment is needed. The numbers speak for themselves.
TSA Says 73 Employees Were on Terror
Watch List. A few months ago, top TSA officials were forced to hand over their plastic badges and report for bin-stacking duty
after it was discovered that 95% of the time, fake, planted "bombs" and "firearms" were able to make it swiftly through security at a
bunch of American airports (just don't wrap your face powder up in your underwear or they'll spill out the contents of your luggage
across the "security screening area" with abandon, before testing you and your laptop for exploses, because obviously you're a terrorist,
boarding a flight to that high-impact target Cleveland at an ungodly morning hour... not that I'm bitter). Anyway, the
malfeasance inside the TSA extends throughout the agency, apparently, from line workers, to top brass and even to HR.
Adam Schiff on Airport Security: 'When We Test the TSA, They Fail'. The effectiveness of security at foreign
airports has come into question in the wake of last weekend's deadly Russian jet crash after takeoff from Egypt's Sharm El
Sheikh Airport, and today, Rep. Adam Schiff said security is a problem at United States airports as well.
"This is a problem here at home. When we test the TSA, they fail," Schiff told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos
today [11/8/2015] on "This Week." "And I think we really need to step up our security here." Schiff,
D-California, is the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which oversees components
of agencies including the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.
airport screeners' ability to detect weapons declared "pitiful". US lawmakers and federal watchdogs on Tuesday [11/3/2015]
derided the Transportation Security Administration's ability, or lack thereof, to adequately detect weapons and other contraband during
the passenger screening process at the nation's airports. "In looking at the number of times people got through with guns or bombs
in these covert testing exercises it really was pathetic. When I say that I mean pitiful," said Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), speaking
Tuesday during a House Oversight hearing concerning classified reports from federal watchdogs. "Just thinking about the breaches there,
it's horrific," he added.
San Francisco airport screeners allegedly allowed cocaine to pass through security. Three security screeners at
San Francisco International Airport were arrested Friday on charges of defrauding the government and smuggling cocaine. A
federal indictment charging the three individuals was unsealed on Thursday [11/5/2015]. All three worked for Covenant
Aviation Security, a private security that contracts with the Transportation Security Administration to provide addition
security at the San Francisco airport, according to the Justice Department.
Lynch: TSA chief vows total overhaul after scathing IG probe. The Transportation Security Administration is
going "back to the drawing board" to design new safety protocols after airports around the country failed to find weapons
brought through screening in an undercover sting operation, U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch told Herald Radio today [11/5/2015].
The South Boston Democrat said Peter Neffenger, the new TSA administrator, is beginning the process of rethinking what passengers
will have to do before boarding a plane.
of security at US airports 'simply missing'. The Transport Security Administration claims it has improved
security following an undercover probe at eight airports found that 95 percent of fake bombs and weapons were not
intercepted. The investigation found major flaws in systems at the eight airports, which were intended as a random
sample. Entire levels of security 'were simply missing'.
The Editor says...
And the TSA agents, too stupid to know the difference between dynamite and candles, evacuated the entire terminal. Really, if a terrorist were to
bring TNT into the airport, and submit it to inspection, would it be labeled TNT in big cartoonish letters?
agent allegedly took bribes to let marijuana safely pass through LAX security. Deondre Smith, 33, of South Los Angeles,
was charged with counts of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and bribery of a public official, according to the U.S. Attorney's
Office. Smith allegedly accepted at least $500 to make sure checked baggage filled with marijuana pass through screening
checkpoints at the airport, according to the indictment. The bags containing marijuana were flown to Charlotte Douglas
International Airport in North Carolina and were distributed.
Spent $160 Mil For Scanners With A 96% Failure Rate. When Congress decided to let the federal government take over airport
security in the wake of 9/11, critics said it would only make matters worse. Fourteen years later, it looks like the critics had
it exactly right. On Monday [8/17/2015], Politico broke the news that the federally run TSA has spent $160 million —
or more than $150,000 per unit — on body scanners meant to prevent fliers from bringing contraband onto planes. And
what did taxpayers get for their money? A recent security audit found that TSA scanners failed to stop explosives and weapons
96% of the time.
whistleblowers describe security concerns, culture of 'fear and distrust'. Whistleblowers on Tuesday
[6/9/2015] portrayed the beleaguered Transportation Security Administration as an agency mired in a culture of "fear
and distrust" while raising security concerns over several programs — including TSA PreCheck, in which passes
for expedited screening allegedly are passed out "like Halloween candy." The TSA employees leveled their criticism
during a Senate hearing that follows recent bombshell inspector general reports. One showed undercover agents were
able to sneak fake explosives and banned weapons through airport checkpoints about 96 percent of the time; the
findings led to the acting TSA secretary being reassigned last week. A second report released Monday [6/8/2015]
showed the agency failed to flag 73 commercial airport workers "linked to terrorism."
Sen. Says Classified TSA Details 'Even Worse' Than Public Failures, Calls For Their Release. The
Transportation Security Administration is inexcusably failing to keep the nation's airports secure and the American
people have a right to know about it, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) argues. Following the leak of results from an
inspector general report, which found that TSA failed to uncover mock explosives and weapons nearly 96 percent
of the time, Sasse is calling on President Obama to declassify the full report and release further information about
TSA's security lapses.
Fails to ID 73 Airport Employees With Links to Terrorism. A new Department of Homeland Security
Inspector General report found that the Transportation Security Administration failed to identify 73 aviation
employees with active clearance badges with links to terrorism. The people, who were employed by major
airlines, airport vendors and other employers, were not identified because TSA is not authorized to receive
all terrorism-related information under current inter-agency policies, the report said.
Failed To Identify 73 Aviation Workers With 'Links To Terrorism'. The Transportation
Security Administration granted access to secure airport areas to 73 aviation workers with "links to
terrorism," according to a new report from the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector
General. The audit, released Monday [6/8/2015], reveals that TSA was unable to vet out 73
individuals with terror-related category codes because the agency did not have enough access to
terror list information.
The Editor says...
The Department of Homeland Security was created after the 9/11/2001 attack in order to encourage dozens of federal security
bureaucracies to talk to each other and share information. Now we know that doesn't happen, so why does the DHS still exist?
Sen. Says Classified TSA Details 'Even Worse' Than Public Failures, Calls For Their Release. The
Transportation Security Administration is inexcusably failing to keep the nation's airports secure and the
American people have a right to know about it, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) argues. Following the leak of results
from an inspector general report, which found that TSA failed to uncover mock explosives and weapons nearly
96 percent of the time, Sasse is calling on President Obama to declassify the full report and release further
information about TSA's security lapses.
Failures Point to Need for Private Airport Security. In an exclusive scoop, ABC News
is reporting that the Transportation Security Administration failed to stop undercover agents in 67
out of 70 recent probes of TSA screening. These agents carried fake weapons through checkpoints at
major airports across the country and were not stopped. ABC reports that Jeh Johnson was
"apparently so frustrated by the findings he sought a detailed briefing on them last week at TSA
headquarters." Johnson has good reason to be frustrated: Such a high failure rate is unacceptable.
Undercover agents snuck fake explosives, banned weapons past TSA. Undercover agents
were able to sneak fake explosives and banned weapons through Transportation Security Administration
checkpoints, in an investigation that revealed a massive, system-wide security failure at America's
airports. The findings were part of a DHS inspector general probe. The report is still
classified, but Fox News has confirmed the investigation found security failures at dozens of
airports. Homeland Security officials confirmed to Fox News that TSA screeners failed
67 out of 70 tests — or 96 percent — carried out by special
investigators known as "red teams."
chief ousted after 95 per cent of agents failed explosives and weapons screening test at airports.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Monday he reassigned the acting administrator for the Transportation
Security Administration (TSA) after earlier ordering improved security at U.S. airports. The moves follow
media reports that checkpoint screeners failed to detect mock explosives and weapons in 95 percent of tests
carried out by undercover agents. Johnson said in a statement that Melvin Carraway, an 11-year veteran of
the TSA, would be reassigned to serve in the Office of State and Local Law Enforcement at Department of Homeland
Not fired, not "ousted," just moved to a different desk. Acting
TSA head reassigned after watchdog report reveals airport security failings. The
acting head of the Transportation Security Administration was reassigned late Monday [6/1/2015] after a
watchdog report revealed undercover agents were able to sneak fake explosives and banned weapons through
checkpoints as part of an investigation that revealed a massive, system-wide security failure at America's
airports. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced that TSA Acting Administrator Melvin
Carraway had been sent to work in the department's Office of State and Local Law Enforcement.
missed weapons, explosives in 95% of security tests. No one enjoys going through screening at the
airport, but at least it's making us all safer, right? And there was that one time you made it through with a
Swiss Army knife in your backpack, but surely any real weapons or explosives would be spotted, right? ABC News
is reporting that, in an internal investigation conducted by the Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation
Security Administration (TSA) failed to detect banned weapons and fake explosives smuggled in by undercover agents
posing as passengers 95% of the time.
'in Almost Every Area of Their Functions'. The inspector general for the Department of
Homeland Security remains "deeply concerned" whether the agency charged with maintaining internal
security is up to the task. John Roth told the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee that
the Transportation Security Administration, an arm of DHS responsible for ensuring airport safety and
screening passengers before boarding, faces "significant challenges" in contracting for goods and
services. "Despite spending billions on aviation security technology, our testing of certain
systems has revealed no resulting improvement," Roth said.
TSA doesn't know if bomb-detecting machines are 'operational'. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
has such poor management over its airport security equipment that the agency does not know if its screening machines are
working, according to an audit by the Office of Inspector General. American lives may be at risk due to ineffective
maintenance of its equipment, which has cost taxpayers $1.2 billion.
Secretary: 'We Should Not Profile at Airports'. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh
Johnson said his agency considered signing on to the Justice Department's expanded non-profiling
policy earlier this year, but because that policy was developed for law enforcement, it "didn't
quite fit" for airport screeners. "But TSA knows my view that we should not profile at
airports," Johnson told the a Senate Homeland Security Oversight hearing on Tuesday [4/28/2015].
renews call for armed TSA officers after New Orleans machete attack. A machete-wielding man attacked two TSA workers
last Saturday [3/21/2015] at the New Orleans airport. He allegedly sprayed one TSA worker with wasp killer and slashed another
TSA agent with his machete — before he was shot by a third, non-TSA, officer. The attacker, identified as Richard
White, 63, died at a local hospital. The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the union representing the TSA, said
the attack is a "sad reminder" that more needs to be done to keep airports safe. Specifically, the union wants an armed TSA unit.
says TSA allowed convicted felon to use PreCheck program. A convicted felon and former
member of a domestic terrorist organization was allowed to pass through an expedited security line
designed for passengers who are not considered a security threat, the Homeland Security Department's
internal watchdog said Thursday night [3/19/2015].
allowed 'domestic terrorist' to get 'PreCheck' status: Audit. The Transportation
Security Agency granted expedited passenger status to a traveler investigators described as part of
a domestic terrorist group, and refused to rescind the designation even after a line officer
recognized the person, an inspector general said late Thursday [3/19/2015]. TSA officials
initially approved the traveler through the agency's Secure Flight Program, which is supposed to
screen passengers based on the host of information — name, date of birth and
sex — that the airlines now demand whenever a ticket is purchased.
Just Kill 'Homeland Security'. DHS oversees almost two dozen agencies and groups,
including the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Patrol, the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA), immigration processing and enforcement, the Secret Service, and the Transportation Security
Administration (TSA), the brave folks responsible for an endless series of junk-touching, drug-stealing,
and kiddie-porn scandals. Given all those fearsome responsibilities, you'd figure Barack Obama
would be sweating gravy over even a partial shutdown of DHS.
jails innocent traveler when he asks to file a complaint. Apparently, working as a
supervisor for the Transportation Security Administration at Philadelphia International Airport
comes with a perk: You get to throw people in jail for no good reason and still keep your job.
If that's not the case, why is Charles Kieser still employed by the TSA?
Disputes Claim That It Will Spy On Air Travelers' Social Media, Credit Card Activities. The
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says language included in a draft agreement that was to allow
private contractors to scour air travelers' social media activities and credit card purchases before
approving them for expedited travel under the agency's PreCheck program was included "inadvertently."
The TSA recently filed a request for proposal which included the draft agreement with third-party vendors
the agency plans to hire to pre-screen PreCheck applicants. Under the agreement, companies hired by
TSA would plug "commercial data" into algorithms to determine whether travelers qualified as "low-risk,"
and, thus, eligible for PreCheck boarding at airports.
Passengers' Personal Data At Risk.
Remember a few years after 9/11 when the airlines started requiring you to use your full name as it
appears on a government issued ID, date of birth and gender when you buy a plane ticket? That's
so the TSA can check you against the Federal No-Fly List. But there is more than meets the eye.
[...] TSA now plans to release applicant's data to federal, state, tribal, local, foreign governments
and debt collectors.
Whistleblower Confirms Illegal Aliens May Board Planes With CA Licenses. Illegal
immigrants can board airplanes with California's driver licenses despite repeated guarantees to the
contrary. A whistleblower from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has turned over
documents to Gotnews.com that contradict media reports that illegal immigrants may not travel within
the U.S. with a California driver's license.
to Eliminate Almost Every Federal Agency. [For example, the] Homeland Security
Department: The Cato Institute's David Rittger wrote in 2011 that DHS had become too bloated and
"made it too easy for politicians to disguise pork barrel spending in red, white, and blue," so he
proposed restoring most of DHS's responsibilities to their original agencies. Immigration, border
security, and customs would be grouped under a new "Border Security Administration," while the
Transportation Security Administration and Federal Air Marshals Service would be axed completely.
Sec. Doesn't Deny Report TSA Considering Carry-on Luggage Ban. DHS Secretary Jeh
Johnson did not deny reports that the TSA is considering a carry-on luggage ban on flights during
the upcoming holiday season. "Without a doubt, our counterterrorism efforts and concerns continue
to focus, to a degree, on aviation security, which is the reason why we directed certain enhancements at
airports overseas in our screening of people before they get on airplanes, and we continually evaluate
whether more is necessary without unnecessarily burdening the traveling public," Johnson told CNN's
Jake Tapper on Thursday [12/4/2014].
chief John Pistole steps down after difficult 4 years. The leader of the Transportation Security Administration,
John Pistole, announced Thursday [10/16/2014] that he would retire after 4½ tumultuous years leading the agency.
"It has been an honor and a privilege to have served as TSA administrator," Mr. Pistole said. "I could not be more proud of
all that our employees have accomplished together, particularly what they have done to help enhance the effectiveness and
efficiency of transportation security while improving the passenger screening experience."
Admits Lying About Illegal Aliens Flying Without Proper ID. A new letter from the
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) admits that illegal aliens were being allowed to board planes using
Notice to Appear forms received after entering the U.S. illegally. The revelation directly contradicts a
TSA statement last month denying such allegations to various media outlets, including Breitbart News.
hike takes effect today. The Transportation Security Administration fee that gets
added to the cost of an airline ticket more than doubles today [7/21/2014], with passengers now
paying $5.60 each way to finance X-rays, pat-downs and other forms of airport screening.
the Dept. of Homeland Security become America's standing army? The TSA now searches a variety of government
and private databases, including things like car registrations and employment information, in order to track travelers'
before they ever get near an airport. Other information collected includes "tax identification number, past travel
itineraries, property records, physical characteristics, and law enforcement or intelligence information." [...] Under the
direction of the TSA, American travelers have been subjected to all manner of searches ranging from whole-body scanners
and enhanced patdowns at airports to bag searches in train stations. In response to public outrage over what
amounted to a virtual strip search, the TSA has begun replacing the scanners with equally costly yet less detailed models.
The old scanners will be used by prisons for now.
'Abusively and Arbitrarily' Using Security Designation to Hide Information. The
Transportation Security Administration has been misusing its power to withhold certain sensitive
documents from view under the guise of maintaining safety, according to a congressional report,
while actually endeavoring to keep potentially disconcerting information from the public eye. [...]
According to the new report, the Federal Aviation Administration in 1974 created a category for
sensitive but unclassified information popularly known as "Sensitive Security Information" and
issued regulations prohibiting the disclosure of information designated as such as detrimental to
transportation security. Under the regulation, documents designated as SSI were exempted from
release under the Freedom of Information Act.
investigations boss tapped to replace Air Marshal director amid ongoing gun probe. The head of the
Transportation Security Administration's internal investigations unit has been tapped as the next director of the
embattled Federal Air Marshal Service, FoxNews.com has learned. The newly named director, Roderick Allison,
is currently leading a TSA internal probe into the Air Marshal Service. Allison's office has been probing
allegations an Air Marshal supervisor, Danny Poulos, obtained discounted and free guns and provided them to agency
officials, including outgoing director Robert Bray, for their personal use.
Air Marshals director signed 'settlement agreement' with TSA. Amid an ongoing probe into an alleged gun
selling operation within his agency, outgoing Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) Director Robert Bray struck a settlement
that included a provision to suspend any possible disciplinary actions against him, according to a letter from the head
of the Transportation Security Administration.
Air Marshal director resigns
amid agency gun scheme probe. The director of the Federal Air Marshal Service is retiring after being investigated for
his role in an alleged operation to acquire guns for officials' personal use, FoxNews.com has learned. Director Robert Bray's
home was raided in December in connection with the ongoing probe, according to sources and documents. Law enforcement and
congressional sources told FoxNews.com that Bray's recently announced retirement, which is effective in June, is directly related
to the investigation. Transportation Security Administration officials say no such raid ever happened.
TSA Goes Coin-Flipping. Twenty
years ago it was the U.S. Postal Service that was the iconic example of what's wrong with the federal government. [...]
Today, the representative example of bad government is the Transportation Security Administration. TSA has a
labor force of 65,000 employees. It has cost the American taxpayer about $75 billion. This includes
more than $60 billion spent through 2012 and nearly $8 billion spent in each of 2013 and 2014. In
spite of its gigantic size and cost, TSA has not caught one terrorist. Not one airline hijacking is known to
have been foiled. However, more than 25,000 security breaches have occurred on its watch. The biggest
threats to airline passengers have consistently come the TSA.
you ever had a Gun or Knife Stolen by the "Authorities"? Has an authority figure ever
used their power to steal something from you? I have seen it most commonly with guns and knives,
where people often do not know the precise law, and allow the theft as a form of low level extortion.
The trade off is clear: the authority figure ends up with your item, and they do not charge you with a
crime. My first experience with this occurred at about age 14.
At Newark Airport, the Lights Are On,
and They're Watching You. Visitors to Terminal B at Newark Liberty International Airport may notice the bright, clean lighting that now blankets
the cavernous interior, courtesy of 171 recently installed LED fixtures. But they probably will not realize that the light fixtures are the backbone of a
system that is watching them. Using an array of sensors and eight video cameras around the terminal, the light fixtures are part of a new wireless network
that collects and feeds data into software that can spot long lines, recognize license plates and even identify suspicious activity, sending alerts to the
It Ought to Be Curtains for the
TSA. It has been the worst-kept secret of the last decade: a truth that dared speak its name only when muttered quietly,
a ruse that has been justified and rejustified on grounds that would never traditionally pass muster; and a target for Americans across
the political board — for the recalcitrant, for the complaisant, and for those somewhere in between. It, of course, is the TSA — that
vain, extravagant, and unhappily anxious piece of post-9/11 performance art that has been extended far beyond Broadway and out onto a permanent
tour of the provinces, in whose airports a cast of little Napoleons engage gravely in what has become nothing less than an impudent con.
laugh at naked bodies and take take apple butter from old ladies'. A former TSA officer has confirmed many of the worst suspicions
about airport security screeners: they stop passengers for having an attitude, they confiscate snow globes from children and nail clippers
from pilots, they profile passengers based on their nationality. And yes, they do see travelers naked in the X-ray photos. In a
confessional piece for Politico, former TSA agent-turned-writer Jason Harrington spills the secrets on the ways that the security workers
pass the time during their long shifts.
Ex-TSA Agent: Yes, America,
We Saw You Naked. And We Laughed At You. Thousands Standing Around. Taking Sense Away. Touching Stuff Aggressively.
Whatever you want to call TSA, this former agent confirms that most of what the agency does amounts to ridiculous security theater. [...] We
paid for this systematic invasion of privacy, we're still paying for it, and the Democrats have unionized it despite their promise not to,
making it more difficult to fire those who gawk at us and mock us and are not making us any safer.
Dear America, I Saw You Naked.
More than a million people saw the video within a few days of its being posted. Finally, the public had a hint of what my colleagues and I
already knew. The scanners were useless. The TSA was compelling toddlers, pregnant women, cancer survivors — everyone — to
stand inside radiation-emitting machines that didn't work.
Checkpoints, Warrantless Searches Become a Way of Life. The state of
the 4th amendment is in truly bad shape, given the prevalence of warrantless checkpoints and warrantless bag searches being used all around the country for various
reasons. No longer restricted to airport terminals, the unconstitutional tactics are now being used in subways, bus stations, on bridges, at parades, and anywhere
else the government can get away with them. This is facilitated by the palpable fear of terrorism and with financial incentives from the federal government.
An Israeli security expert on why the TSA is all
wrong. I've been writing for years about how awful US (and European) airport security is and how much better and more effective the
Israeli model is. Now here's a real expert [...] Rafi Sela, former head of security at Tel Aviv - Ben Gurion Airport with seven reasons why
the TSA is so awful.
Seven Reasons the TSA [Stinks]. For a
bunch of people in snappy uniforms patting down crotches, the TSA is remarkably unpopular. Nobody likes going through security at the airport,
but you probably figured most of it had a point. All those hours spent in line with other shoeless travelers are a necessary precursor to safe
flying. It's annoying, but at least it wards off terrorism. That's all [nonsense]. The TSA couldn't protect you from a 6-year-old
with a water balloon.
TSA Wants to Hire 'Economically Disadvantaged
Woman Owned Small Business'. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is looking exclusively for an "economically disadvantaged woman
owned small business" when it awards its next $30 million contract for security training. The agency announced a solicitation for a company to conduct
training for its Inter-Modal Security and Training Exercise Program (I-Step) last week. [...] An economically disadvantaged woman is one who earns less than
$350,000 a year, with a net worth not greater than $750,000.
The Editor asks...
What happened to "equal employment opportunity without regard to race or gender"?
Abolish the TSA. The TSA's value proposition to provide security as a trade-off
for infringing on rights is flimsy; despite years of service and billions of dollars, the agency fails to prevent the initiation of force. As we've seen,
the government agency's existence increases the threat to today's traveler. The TSA's power is arbitrary. Agents disrupt travel, molest passengers
at random, and are frequently accused, charged and jailed for petty and worse crimes including sexual and physical assault — and acts of terrorism.
Time to Get Rid of the TSA.
After the 2001 terrorist attacks, Congress rushed to create a new agency to protect America's planes, trains and trucks. The
Transportation Security Administration enabled the federal government to control the screening of passengers and baggage at all
but five of the 429 U.S. commercial airports. Eleven years and billions of dollars later, the TSA has mastered the art of the
grope but falls short on increasing security.
TSA. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the United States took a number of rapid actions. One was the passage of the
Patriot Act, which I regarded as a mistake then, and which doesn't seem much better now. Another was the creation of the Department of
Homeland Security, a bureaucratic monstrosity that doesn't seem to have done much to keep us actually, you know, safer. And another was
the federal takeover of aviation security by the Transportation Security Administration, which also seems to have been a bust.
There's now some talk about repealing or revising the Patriot Act, and the failure of the Department of Homeland Security to do much good seems
pretty widely acknowledged. But it's widely accepted — even by the Government Accountability Office — that the TSA's
army of unionized federal employees is no better, and perhaps worse, than private screeners.
should abolish the TSA — it's time to privatize airport screening. A government study that finds a program doesn't
work and proposes to cut it is almost as rare as pigs that fly. But a new Government Accountability Office study on aviation does just that:
it proposes chopping the Transportation Security Administration's SPOT security program because it finds no evidence that it could stop
airline terrorists. The GAO routinely finds waste in programs, but it usually just proposes ways to fix them — so the
Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques program must be really lame. The GAO finds no "scientifically validated evidence"
for the $200 million program, and it says that TSA deployed it before even doing a cost-benefit analysis.
Report: TSA searching records of passengers
before they reach airport. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is screening people before they get to the airport by looking at records in
government and private databases, according to a report. The new screening system goes beyond the regular background check the government has conducted for years,
according to the New York Times. Travelers' passport numbers will now be scanned, which is routine when crossing the border. Officials will also tap into
other databases run by the Department of Homeland Security.
An obvious affront to the First Amendment: TSA introduces loudspeaker
warnings threatening travelers with arrest for cracking a joke about airport security. Travelers who attempt to make a joke about strict
security procedures at airports have been warned they face arrest. A loudspeaker announcement made by the Transport Security Administration warns
the public: 'Any inappropriate remarks or jokes concerning security may result in your arrest.' Concerned passenger Matt Miller recorded the
loudspeaker message while passing through George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas.
Of TSA Employees Fired, Suspended For Illegal Gambling Ring At Pittsburgh Int'l Airport. Dozens of local Transportation Security Administration
workers have been fired or suspended after they were caught in an illegal gambling ring at Pittsburgh International Airport. TSA sources tell the KDKA
Investigators that the officers were fired or suspended Thursday morning [9/19/2013]. The investigation took a few months. TSA took a look at more
than 300 of its employees who work at Pittsburgh International Airport.
TSA Agent Arrested for Smuggling Illegal Aliens.
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent was arrested Friday for conspiring to smuggle illegal aliens into the country.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officers arrested David Alexander Díaz-Torres in Orlando, Fla., according to the Justice Department.
Díaz-Torres and five others were charged in a 13-count indictment for bringing, transporting, harboring, and shielding illegal aliens
within the United States.
TSA plans to procure nearly 3.5 million rounds of ammo. The exact
quantity of .357 SIG caliber training rounds sought in the RFP is 3,450,000, which means the TSA could fire off more than 9,400 rounds per day, every day
of the year, to consume that entire quantity annually. However, TSA insists that the manufacturer warrant that the "usable storage life" of the ammunition
without degradation is a minimum of three years.
the T.S.A: VIPR Squads Search Citizens. Americans appear willing to live in a police state, subject to unconstitutional violations
of rights by their own government in exchange for the mirage of security. TSA, the organization founded in 2001 to screen airline passengers
at airports, is searching commuters without warrants or probable cause and having citizens arrested for minor violations wholly and entirely
unrelated to "terrorism."
Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security. With little fanfare, the agency best known for airport screenings has vastly expanded its
reach to sporting events, music festivals, rodeos, highway weigh stations and train terminals. Not everyone is happy. T.S.A. and
local law enforcement officials say the teams are a critical component of the nation's counterterrorism efforts, but some members of Congress,
auditors at the Department of Homeland Security and civil liberties groups are sounding alarms. The teams are also raising hackles among
passengers who call them unnecessary and intrusive.
Report: TSA employee misconduct up 26% in 3 years. The Transportation
Security Administration is probably not going to top anyone's list of Favorite Federal Government Agencies. And the stories of its failures spread
faster than a speeding jetliner: TSA officers stealing money from luggage, taking bribes from drug dealers, sleeping on the job.
TSA searches valet parked car. She says she had no
warning that someone was going to search her car after she left to catch her flight. So the woman contacted [WHEC]. We found
out it happened to her because she valet parked her car. Those are the only cars that get inspected. So if security feels it is
necessary to search some cars in the name of safety, why not search all of them?
The Orwellian government depends on a continuous state of emergency. Warning Pollution. In addition to
diligently reminding people what they can and cannot bring through security, TSA takes great pains to inform airport travelers
to say something if they see something. Besides reminding us not to leave our bags unattended, airports that award taxi
monopolies also encourage us to take only approved cabs at the cab stands for our own safety, along with reminders not to leave
our cars when we pick up or drop off passengers and various and sundry other nagging reminders [...]
TSA = Thousands Standing Around.
[P]aying passengers are commanded each day to surrender their canes, dentures, prosthetic limbs, bottles, stuffed animals and other
personals and necessaries — a sort of inverse profiling, where the very people who present the lowest possible threat are
counterintuitively hassled and probed for gratuitous "security inspections," X-raying and explosive-residue swabbing.
The TSA Is Coming To A Highway
Near You. Believe it or not, only 7 years ago, TSOs went by a more deserving title, "airport security screeners."
At the time, their title and on the job appearance consisted of a white shirt and black pants. This was fitting because airport
security screening is exactly what's required of the position. However, this is no longer the case. In the dead of night,
the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) administratively reclassified airport security screeners as Transportation Security
Officers. The TSA then moved to administratively upgrade TSOs uniforms to resemble those of a federal law enforcement officer.
They further completed the makeover with metal law enforcement badges. Not surprisingly, government bureaucrats at the TSA left out one
crucial component during the artificial makeover — actual federal law enforcement training as is required of Federal Air
fires 3, suspends 23 at Newark airport. Twenty-six baggage screeners at Newark Liberty Airport were fired or suspended
recently as part of an investigation into lax security procedures, the Transportation Security Administration said Friday. Three
screeners were fired and 23 others were suspended at the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings this week. Seventeen of those
suspended had initially been targeted for firing.
Allowed at Least 11 Airport Employees With Criminal Backgrounds To Receive Security Badges. The Transportation Security
Administration's (TSA) mismanagement of a program responsible for issuing security badges to aviation employees resulted in at
least 11 individuals with criminal backgrounds obtaining badges that allowed access to secure areas of U.S. airports.
An aviation employee is anyone who is allowed unescorted access to secured areas of airports. This includes airport employees
in addition to TSA Officers.
Former Newark Airport
TSA screener says the job does little to keep fliers safe. It is perhaps America's most unsafe airport. Despite
being the launching point for one of the planes hijacked on 9/11 — Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania —
Newark Airport has had numerous security violations since. The latest: a fake bomb that made it past Transportation Security
Administration officers. Here, a Newark TSA screener who recently left the agency tells how silly policies and lazy workers
do little to stop real threats.
TSA allows knives on planes,
flight attendants union calls decision 'dangerous'. The Transportation Security Administration announced Tuesday that
U.S. airline passengers will soon be allowed to carry small knives in their carry-on bags, a move that prompted swift condemnation
from a flight attendants union. The union for Southwest Airlines flight attendants called the decision "dangerous" and
"designed to make the lives of TSA staff easier, but not make flights safer."
Not One Penny to Spare. A thousand bucks
a year? Not too shabby, and the new uniforms look really snappy and nice too, with just the right amount of scary ornamentation to
maintain the crucial projection of absolute authority so necessary to the job of herding the lowing, balky cattle and keeping them
properly, umm, cowed. These are probably a bargain at any price, really.
Privatize Airport Security.
Endless airport lines under sequestration are not about security, they are about the inability of a government agency to do its job
with its available means. In the real world, if a business fails to provide a promised service, its contract becomes void.
Who (or What) Are They Looking For?
TSA is omnipresent. Trains, planes and automobiles. Now railroads and buses. Next it will be dog walkers and model
airplanes. Homeland Security peers through every remote camera and surveillance platform. The federal decision to see and
record everything is approaching total coverage. You're even recorded and surveilled in many national parks. Who, or what,
are they looking for?
These cowards will immediately duck and cover if there's any trouble. Homeland
Security training TSA workers to save themselves in shooting. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint screeners
are receiving training to prepare them for the possibility of a mass shooting at one of the agency's airport checkpoints, and those TSA personnel
are being instructed to "save themselves" should a shooting occur. It is unclear whether the TSA is conducting the reported mass shooting
scenario training at airports around the nation or only at the airport where our source, a veteran of the TSA, is assigned. The TSA source
claims with obvious concern that his own life, along with the lives of other unarmed TSA personnel, would be in grave danger were an airport
checkpoint shooting to unfold.
Former Edison police officer accused of racism landed TSA
job at Newark airport. He spat out epithets for African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian Indians, fellow officers said. He
called women "whores" and said a pregnant officer's baby "should be killed," the colleagues said. The combustible allegations are contained
in statements — obtained by The Star-Ledger — that Edison police officers made to an internal affairs investigator about their
controversial sergeant, Alex Glinsky.
The TSA as we
know it is dead - here's why. For starters, TSA Administrator John Pistole refused to testify before the committee on the
innocuous subject of "common sense" improvements to America's airport security, reportedly because the committee has no jurisdiction over
his agency. One by one, panelists took turns excoriating the agency charged with protecting America's transportation systems.
It was plainly clear why Pistole was a no-show, and it had nothing to do with jurisdiction; it would have been an openly hostile crowd.
GOP fumes as
TSA head skips aviation security hearing. TSA Administrator John Pistole was listed as an invited guest for the hearing,
which was focused on the aviation security agency's impact on commerce in the United States. But when Aviation Subcommittee
Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.) called Thursday's meeting to order, Pistole's seat was empty.
A Call for TSA Reform. Since 2001, TSA staff has grown
from 16,500 to over 65,000, a near-400% increase. In the same amount of time, total passenger enplanements in the U.S. have increased less than 12%.
Since 2002, TSA procured six contracts to hire and train more than 137,000 staff, for a total of more than $2.4 billion, at a rate of more than $17,500 per
hire. More employees have left TSA than are currently employed at the agency.
GOP report: TSA hasn't
improved aviation security. After a $56 billion federal investment in airline security, flying is no safer than it was before the Sept. 11,
2001, attacks and the bare hands of passengers might be the best defense once a terrorist gets on board, two members of Congress said Wednesday [11/14/2012]. Deriding the
Transportation Security Administration as a bloated bureaucracy that recruits security personnel with ads on gas pumps and pizza boxes, the two House Republicans said
it needed to undergo almost a dozen reforms.
TSA uniform perks more expensive than Marine
Corps. "TSA employees will see their uniform allowances nearly double to $446 per year," the House Transportation Committee noted in a
press release on the TSA's new collective bargaining agreement. "By comparison, a combat Marine Lieutenant receives a one-time uniform
allowance of $400. The cost of the increase in TSA uniform allowance is an estimated $9.63 million annually."
TSA Denies Ignoring Court Order Over Body
Scanners. The TSA has denied that it is defying the law by ignoring a now more than one year old court order to conduct
a public comment process with regards to its use of so called naked body scanners. The machines have been systematically rolled
out in airports throughout the nation over the last three years without public consultation. This act has been ruled by the U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to be a violation of federal law.
TSA turns into thought police as
man detained over t-shirt text. Delta Airlines, in collusion, of course, with the Transportation Security Administration,
seems to have a new division: Thought Police. At least, that's what Arijit Guha and his wife think after being kicked off a Delta
flight out of Buffalo-Niagara for wearing a satirical t-shirt that apparently made some passengers and employees "very uncomfortable."
TSA Launches 18 New Twitter Accounts In PR
Drive. The Transportation Security Administration has launched a staggering eighteen new Twitter accounts as part of a
PR drive presumably in response to the overwhelming amount of negative publicity the federal agency receives on a routine basis.
Naked truth about TSA. In a column which appeared in Viewpoints
Friday, Robert L. Crandall, former CEO of American Airlines, and Marc Scribner, a policy analyst with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, reminded
us that though 700 scanners are operating in nearly 190 airports across the nation, we still don't know whether this highly intrusive technology is
making us any safer. "Yet because TSA failed to solicit public comments about the scanners — in violation of federal law — the
agency is flying blind," they wrote. Despite a July 2011 court order to "promptly" begin putting together rules for allowing public comment, a year
later TSA still hadn't done so, claiming it does not have the resources to begin a public comment process. Nonsense! As Messers. Crandall and
Scribner tell it, TSA's discretionary budget is "larger than that of the entire federal judiciary and a staff larger than those of the Departments of State,
Labor, Energy, Education, and Housing and Urban Development combined."
TSA Agrees To Allow
Unionization Of Agents. The Transportation Security Administration agreed to allow the American Federation of
Government Employees to unionize its workforce. In a press release, AFGE announced that the labor contract it agreed to
with TSA on Thursday [8/2/2012] is the first-ever with TSA employees.
Top 10 most dangerous liberals. [#9] Janet
Napolitano: For all the yapping from progressives about President George W. Bush's disregard for the Constitution and the evils of the
PATRIOT Act, there is little being said about the vast expansion of the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Janet Napolitano. From
groping Transportation Safety Administration workers to drones monitoring America, the massive agency is increasingly eroding our freedoms while
trying to protect them.
TSA: Training Sky-bound Illegal
Aliens. When it comes to soldiers, breast-feeding moms, toddlers and grannies, the Transportation Security
Administration is not just hands-on, it's hands-all-over. But when it comes to illegal alien pilot trainees, our
homeland security bureaucracy's policy is still stuck in pre-9/11 mode: Hands off, blinders on.
TSA Let 25 Illegal
Aliens Attend Flight School Owned by Illegal Alien. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved flight
training for 25 illegal aliens at a Boston-area flight school that was owned by yet another illegal alien, according to the
Government Accountability Office. The illegal-alien flight-school attendees included eight who had entered the country
illegally and 17 who had overstayed their allowed period of admission into the United States, according to an audit by the
GAO. Six of the illegal aliens were actually able to get pilot's licenses.
Speaks about Foreign Flight-School Students. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told the House Judiciary Committee
on Thursday [7/19/2012] that the Obama administration finally "took steps" in 2010 to vet foreign students applying to U.S. flight schools.
Napolitano's testimony came one day after CNSNews.com reported that in 2010 local police in Massachusetts made a traffic stop on
a person who they determined to be an illegal alien. The illegal alien it turned out owned a flight school, which, it turned out,
had been attended by another 25 illegal aliens, six of whom had been awarded pilots licenses.
Fed Report: A Decade After 9/11,
TSA Still Failing. It's unfathomable that a decade after the worst terrorist attacks in U.S. history, the
multi-billion-dollar government agency created to secure the nation's transportation system — mainly aviation —
is so inept that the country remains inexcusably vulnerable to a repeat of 9/11. That's essentially what the latest of many
federal audits reveals about the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the massive, 65,000-employee Homeland Security
agency created by Congress after the 2001 terrorist attacks. The seemingly elusive mission is to secure transportation by
adequately screening luggage, passengers and properly vetting foreign flight students. After all, Islamic terrorists,
trained as pilots at U.S. aviation schools, intentionally crashed planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. When
Congress created the TSA a year later, one of its key duties was to scrutinize all foreign flight students before they can take
lessons or get a pilot's license in the U.S.
TSA hasn't yet complied with
order to start public discussion on body scanners. It's been one year since a federal court ordered the Transportation Security
Administration to open up its new body scanner system to a process that includes taking comments from the public and justifying the policy, yet
the TSA has not yet followed through with the order yet. Because the agency hasn't complied, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
organization plans to file a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday to ask the court to enforce it.
TSA to fire air marshals for allegedly drinking on the job. The
Transportation Security Administration is firing eight federal air marshals, including a supervisor, for allegedly drinking alcohol on a training
day and suspending six others for not reporting the misconduct, the agency said Friday [6/29/2012].
agents fired after internal probe. Five TSA workers are out of the job and another 38 have been suspended after they
reportedly failed to conduct random security screenings on passengers and their luggage. The employees were all based out of
Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, and have been replaced by agents from other locations.
The Terrible Truth About the TSA. We don't all all agree on
whether the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has any business groping toddlers and destroying expensive medical equipment in the pursuit of its appointed
mission of keeping travelers safe from scary terrorists. Quotable security expert Bruce Schneier calls it all pointless and oppressive "security theater"
intended to make the government look responsive, while Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) describes intrusive measures as "very important" and pushes for even stronger
stuff. But necessary evil or not, it's increasingly apparent that the TSA is spectacularly inefficient and inept at everything it tries to do.
We Don't Need To Reform The
TSA, We Need To Get Rid Of The TSA. According to Politico, political ire aimed at the rubber-gloved freedom fondlers at
the TSA runs the gamut from libertarian-leaning Republicans to liberal Democrats. It seems like just about everybody is
upset with the TSA, and political ideology has nothing to do with it. [...] There never was a good case for the TSA. It was
created in the security hysteria following the 9/11 attacks under the assumption that a single federal bureaucracy would do a better
job of airport security than the private contractors who were doing it previously. Yet since its inception, all the TSA seems
to have accomplished is the irritation of a vast swath of the American public.
Airport terminal evacuated after Muslim TSA employee leaves metal detector unplugged. This happened a couple of
weeks ago and no flights went down, but it could have been a test of how to get people through security with material that would
otherwise be detected, which they could then stash somewhere and retrieve later if they had to be re-screened. Or it could
just be an incompetent TSA employee (there are certainly more than enough of those to go around) who just happened to be a Muslim.
There is no way to be sure at this point, although it would be refreshing, albeit unlikely, if law enforcement did a bit of digging
into the activities of Alija Abdul Majed. In any case, this incident underscores how useless the TSA really is.
More TSA lies. Earlier this year, the House Oversight & Government
Reform and Transportation & Infrastructure committees got wind that the TSA has 5,700 pieces of security equipment worth $184 million gathering
dust in a Dallas, Texas, warehouse. For example, a total of 492 explosive trace detectors that cost $30,000 each have been sitting in storage for
more than a year. When congressional investigators were dispatched to learn more about what was going on, TSA did everything it could to stall them.
The congressional auditors finally arrived on Feb. 15 to find a warehouse crew had been busy working from 5 a.m. that morning to shove as much of
the embarrassing horde as it could out the back door.
TSA wasting money on
screening machines. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars
by allowing screening machines to languish in warehouses rather than deploying them at U.S. airports, congressional investigators said
Wednesday [5/9/2012]. When the new screening units finally were installed, they were not properly tested and were used only for very
short periods of time in many locations, the investigators said. [...] About 5,700 pieces of security equipment, with a total value of
$184 million, are stored in a TSA warehouse, the report states.
21 Unanswered Questions That They
Don't Want You To Look Into. [#1] Why is the TSA being allowed to conduct warrantless searches at bus stations and train stations
all over America? According to an article in the Guardian, the following motto is displayed at the TSA's air marshal training center:
"Dominate. Intimidate. Control." Why is there no outrage over this? [#2] Why does the TSA believe that it is necessary to pat-down a
7-year-old girl with cerebral palsy? Does touching the private areas of disabled little girls really improve our national security?
Senate Dems back increase in air
travel fee to close funding shortfall at TSA. The 2013 Homeland Security appropriations bill would increase one-way fees for passengers from $2.50
to $5 in order to close a budget shortfall at the Transportation Security Administration. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said the $315 million in funding
would otherwise come from taxpayers and argued it is better to stick passengers who rely on TSA with the bill.
The Editor says...
I have a question for you frequent fliers: Do you "rely on" the TSA, or would you be happier without it?
screeners charged in LA drug trafficking probe. Duane Eleby, a suspected drug courier, was all
set to sneak 10 pounds of cocaine through a security checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport last
February with the help of a former Transportation Security Administration employee and a screener.
TSA agents join undercover cops aboard Houston bus
system. The TSA will help undercover police perform random bag searches and other security
activities in a new program on the METRO bus system, marking the maligned federal agency's latest foray
out of airports and into other forms of mass transit. [...] The "Bus Safe" program makes Houston the most
recent city to allow the TSA to conduct objectionable security activities outside of airports.
TSA harassing and searching a
9 year old. The only bad thing on our trip was TSA was at the Savannah train station.
There were about 14 agents pulling people inside the building and coralling everyone in a roped area
AFTER you got OFF THE TRAIN! This made no sense!
Jackson Lee partners with DHS, brings TSA to Houston Metro. Originally only at the airports, the
TSA has since began to expand across America in the form of Visible Intermodal Preparedness and Response or VIPR
Teams. Most recently cropping up in Amtrack stations in Florida and other cities, and setting up illegal
checkpoints on state highways in Tennessee. Now, Houston will be taking part in a national pilot program
known as Bus Safe involving the DHS, TSA, Metro Police, Harris County Constables, and Congress woman
Sheila Jackson Lee.
Obama to restrict travel. For some time I have maintained that the
purpose of the TSA is to discourage airline travel for the middle class. Security has nothing to do with humiliating women, grannies and
children before they board the airplane. The multiple checkpoints that people must pass have drastically changed the airport experience
into something Stalinistic.
House Grills TSA
Officials: 'Ineffective' and 'Rude'. House members of both parties on Monday teed off against the agency in charge of
airport and port anti-terrorist screening, saying it uses ineffective tactics, wastes money on faulty equipment and treats
Manager Arrested for Running Prostituion Ring. A manager at the Transportation Security Administration
has lost his job after being arrested on prostitution-related charges. According to court documents, the
agency had received a complaint of "very similar" activities back in 2009.
to testify before lawmakers. A pair of House committees will question officials from the Transportation Security
Administration next week. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee announced Friday that they would hold a joint hearing next Monday [3/26/2012] to consider whether TSA is "effective
security or security theater."
How to spot
a terrorist? The US Department of Homeland Security has brought out a presentation that aims to educate
people on recognising terrorists and how to report them. The report titled "Terrorism Awareness and Prevention"
warned that people yawning, developing goose bumps and appearing fidgety could all be potential terrorists, according
to the Daily Mail.
Airport Ousts TSA Screeners Opting for Private Ones. The Orlando Sanford International airport, one of the
busiest in the nation, has announced that it will be opting out of using the Transportation Security Administration workers
to screen passengers. The announcement is significant as it could lead the charge for other airports in the nation to
reduce the more unpleasant aspects of the unpopular federal agency. "The president of the airport said Tuesday [3/13/2012]
that he would apply again to use private operators to screen passengers, using federal standards and oversight," reports
the Miami Herald.
The TSA Is Coming To a Highway
Near You. While TSOs [Transportation Security Officers] may have the appearance of a federal law enforcement officer
they have neither the authority nor the power. If a passenger brings a loaded gun or an explosive device into an airport
screening area there is nothing a TSO can do until the local police step in to save the day. If TSOs are truly our nation's
last line of defense in stopping an act of terrorism, then the TSA should immediately end the practice of placing hiring notices
for available TSO positions on pizza boxes and at discount gas stations as they have done in our nation's capital. Surely,
this is not where our federal government is going to find our brightest and sharpest Americans committed to keeping our
traveling public safe.
The Tax & Frisk Bowl.
[Scroll down] In another development, the Department of Homeland Security has taken upon its broad and capable
shoulders full responsibility for making sure the game is terrorism-free. This would be the same outfit
that recently conducted surprise searches of passengers at a train station in Savannah, Georgia. The
passenger were getting off the train so, if the pattern holds, people leaving the stadium on Sunday should
not be surprised if they are pulled out of line and patted down. Can't be too careful.
Neither liberty nor safety. Consider the
list of Obama's assaults on liberty. Any one of these done by a Republican President would bring down the wrath
of the Left. Done by Obama, the action is noted in the Obama reelect media for a single news cycle and then
dropped. Obama's Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is more arrogantly intrusive than ever.
The Fourth Amendment protection against "unreasonable" searches and seizures has been repealed at your local airport.
Rep. John Mica, who authored the TSA legislation, observes that the unionized TSA now strip-searching grannies and
detaining Senators bears little resemblance to his original idea.
TSA: Ruining Lives Over Forgetfulness. You probably don't consider these folks terrorists or
anything close. No rational person would. For that we need the TSA. ... Our Rulers incarcerate the
innocent solely because they can.
TSA wastes $1.2 billion a year and causes 1,200 unnecessary
deaths annually. The TSA is rapidly becoming the #2 most hated government agency in the world, behind the
IRS. ... They randomly call travelers out of line and insist they go through the full-body scanners. It is
clear that TSA is pushing the X-ray machines to test the American willingness to comply. The TSA is gradually
shifting to the full-body scanners (X-ray machines), where travelers symbolically raise his hands in compliance, as if
they are saying, "I surrender to the TSA." I'm always amazed how the vast majority of Americans simply comply.
The TSA's Voodoo
Security: A century ago, most people would have dismissed [Paul] Ekman as a crank. He's
spent much of his life pursuing what believers dignify as "parapsychology." His pastime would have remained
a harmless hobby if the U.S. Government hadn't robbed us to bankroll him. Thanks to that financing, the
nationalized, so-called educational system takes him seriously enough that the University of California at San
Francisco "appointed" him a professor in 1972. That provides cover for the corporate media to take him
undermine security. My office is being inundated with their stories of assault and harassment by
TSA agents. This agency's disregard for our civil liberties is something we are expected to understand
and accept. But we are tired of being insulted and we are tired of having our dignity compromised.
TSA was created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but was it necessary? Has it
overstepped its bounds? Is it respecting the rights of citizens? It is time for us to question the
effectiveness of TSA. America can prosper, preserve personal liberty and repel national security threats
without intruding into the personal lives of its citizens.
As you might expect... White
House sides with TSA in Rand Paul standoff. The White House is standing by the Transportation
Security Administration in its standoff with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and his father, Republican presidential
candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). The elder Paul called the TSA a "police state" Monday [1/23/2012] after
Rand Paul was reportedly detained by TSA after he refused to take a pat-down from TSA officials at the Nashville
left $410G in change at airport security checkpoints in 2010. In the rush to catch their flights,
airline passengers are leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars behind at security checkpoints. According
to the Transportation Security Administration, passengers left behind nearly $410,000 in loose change at checkpoints
in 2010. That's actually down from $433,000 the year prior.
collected $400,000 in spare change left by passengers in airports in 2011. TSA found $409,085.56 in
spare change last year that was unclaimed by passengers, according to figures released by the agency.
Historically, if no one comes back to get the leftover money, it stays with the TSA. A Florida lawmaker
is trying to change that, however: Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) filed a bill in April of 2009 that would require
TSA to transfer money that is not claimed by passengers when they leave airport security checkpoints to United
It's bully government, not nanny. President
Obama may be the Nanny King, but he took the crown from the Man Who Gave Us TSA. George Walker Bush was the president
who green-lighted making people walk through those body scanners — or else! TSA is not about protecting us.
If it were, TSA would be stealth about it. TSA would target terrorist suspects, follow them and nail them to the
wall when the terrorist acted. That is good police work. But the purpose of TSA is to dissuade the middle
class from flying. The TSA exists now to limit freedom of movement. The price of an airline ticket now
includes standing in line for an hour to be humiliated. Everything is now for security reasons.
2012, TSA expands to train stations, ferry docks, subways. The Transportation Security
Administration had quite a year of free publicity in 2011, including headline-grabbing news of agents groping
grandmas, fondling supermodels, joking about passengers' "junk" while virtually disrobing them and pilfering
possessions from luggage. In 2012, the agency is planning to expand its operations at train stations,
subway stations, ferry docks and other transportation hubs.
frosting? TSA confiscates cupcake. An airport security officer confiscated a frosted cupcake amid
fears its icing could be a security risk, according to reports. Rebecca Hains said the Transportation
Security Administration agent at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas took her cupcake Wednesday
[12/21/2011]. According to Hains, he told her its frosting was enough like a gel to violate TSA
restrictions on allowing liquids and gels onto flights to prevent them from being used as explosives.
defends confiscating a passenger's cupcake. The Transportation Security Administration defended
the decision of one of its workers to confiscate a passenger's cupcake Monday [1/9/2012], saying the pastry
that was taken was not a normal piece of dessert. ... On Monday, the agency said the cupcake in question was
in a jar, which gave the screeners pause because of a 2006 plot involving liquid bombs.
Smacking down TSA.
Frequent travelers know better than anyone that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) needs serious
reform. The agency spends $7.7 billion in taxpayer money every year, and it hasn't nabbed a single
terrorist. With no track record of success, TSA Administrator John S. Pistole and Homeland Security
Secretary Janet Napolitano assure us that groping grandma and photographing young children in the nude is somehow
going to discourage terrorism. Many experts have raised concerns regarding the wisdom of funneling millions
of innocent passengers through unregulated and untested X-ray devices, but no TSA technology can be questioned
without Mr. Pistole and Big Sis falling back on the "it's classified" dodge. Their message is, "Trust us,
we know what we're doing."
Republicans look to 'strip' TSA screeners of their 'officer' title. More than two dozen House Republicans
introduced legislation on Thursday that would prevent the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) from calling airport
screeners "officer" unless they have gone through federal law enforcement training or are otherwise eligible for federal
law enforcement benefits. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), the lead sponsor of the Stop TSA's Reach in Policy
(STRIP) Act, said that TSA has essentially allowed its airport screeners to play dress-up by giving them metal badges
and police-like uniforms in recent years. But she said many airport screeners have no "officer" qualifications,
and should have this title removed.
Why we do not need TSA. I see
where the parent company of American Airlines filed for protection from creditors in bankruptcy court.
Union pensions are a budget buster. The real problem with airlines is the suppression of air travel via
TSA — I think it stands for Terrorist Support Alliance — and its hassling of passengers.
Unnecessarily delaying travel suppresses travel, which looks more and more likely to be the whole purpose of TSA.
TSA's power grope.
As part of a "statewide safety operation," TSA employees fondled travelers at bus terminals in Nashville and
Knoxville, hunting for "security threats." Truckers were harassed at four Volunteer State highway
locations between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. — prime time for terrorism,
apparently. Brian Gamble, a Florida firefighter, caught one of these intrusive VIPR operations on
video after he got off a train in Savannah, Ga., earlier this year. "They had the scanners and
everything there," Mr. Gamble told The Washington Times. "They had them pull up their shirts,
patted them down, wanded them. There were a couple ladies in our group getting searched. ... It's
kinda ridiculous when you're coming off a train — it doesn't make any sense."
Final Implementation Phase of Obama Formal
Dictatorship has Begun. After extensive testing to see how far employees of Obama's perverse
TSA (Transportation Security Administration) would go with their sexual groping of even small children, Obama
has now seen that they will do virtually anything they are tasked to do and "The One" has judged them
worthy of the questionable honor of checking for US citizens' papers on US highways, buses, trains and wherever
else the now official dictator-in-chief decides he wants to exhibit his power and control over the American people.
TSA begins VIPR highway
inspections in Tennessee. You're probably use to seeing TSA's signature blue uniforms at the
airport, but now agents are hitting the interstates to fight terrorism with Visible Intermodal Prevention
and Response (VIPR).
The Secret The TSA Doesn't
Want You To Know: While many Americans think they can skip being sexually molested at the hands
of the TSA by avoiding airports, Big Sis has been quietly preparing the groundwork for the total takeover of
all public transport and highways by federal government goon squads.
Searches and the American Citizen: 'Dominate. Intimidate. Control.'. The transition to a police
state will not come about with a dramatic coup d'etat, with battering rams and marauding militia. As we
have experienced first-hand in recent years, it will creep in softly, one violation at a time, until suddenly
you find yourself being subjected to random patdowns and security sweeps during your morning commute to work
or quick trip to the shopping mall.
TSA Is Searching Your Car, Subway, Ferry, Bus, AND Plane. Think you could avoid the TSA's body
scanners and pat-downs by taking Amtrak? Think again. Even your daily commute isn't safe from TSA
screenings. And because the TSA is working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border
Patrol, you may have your immigration status examined along with your "junk". As part of the TSA's request
for FY 2012 funding, TSA Administrator John Pistole told Congress last week that the TSA conducts
8,000 unannounced security screenings every year.
Reveal TSA Research Proposal To Body-Scan Pedestrians, Train Passengers. Giving Transportation Security Administration agents
a peek under your clothes may soon be a practice that goes well beyond airport checkpoints. Newly uncovered documents show that as
early as 2006, the Department of Homeland Security has been planning pilot programs to deploy mobile scanning units that can be set up at
public events and in train stations, along with mobile x-ray vans capable of scanning pedestrians on city streets.
Air Marshals Expand Beyond Planes.
Federal air marshals are expanding their work beyond airplanes, launching counterterror surveillance at train
stations and other mass transit facilities in a three-day test program.
TSA on the lookout for big
hair and snow globes. The sign at the airport was so ridiculous, I thought it was a joke.
"Please be advised, snow globes are not allowed through the security checkpoint," it read. That was
followed by an image of a snow globe with a Christmas tree on the inside and one of those big red "not allowed"
lines going through the middle.
the U.S. Sanction Murder? In the Declaration of Independence, our Founding Fathers said one
of the reasons for their rebellion against King George is that he had "erected a Multitude of new Offices,
and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance." Those brave
gentlemen wouldn't believe how many Swarms of Officers harass us today, or how much of our Substance they
consume. Have you flown anywhere lately? How many Transportation Security Administration employees
did you see — many of whom were guarding hallways no one was using.
TSA Creator Says Dismantle, Privatize the
Agency. They've been accused of rampant thievery, spending billions of dollars like
drunken sailors, groping children and little old ladies, and making everyone take off their shoes.
But the real job of the tens of thousands of screeners at the Transportation Security Administration
(TSA) is to protect Americans from a terrorist attack. Yet a decade after the TSA was created
following the September 11 attacks, the author of the legislation that established the massive
agency grades its performance at "D-."
The TSA, For Your
Inconvenience. Who says the TSA molests everybody who falls into their clutches? From
Fox 8 News in Cleveland comes this heartwarming tale of an "unruly" Arab who boarded a plane in Chicago,
headed for Germany, and of course was waved right through security.
Ten TSA Outrages.
Since its creation in 2001, the Transport Security Administration has repeatedly walked a fine line between vital
vigilance and gratuitous intrusion. Security expert Bruce Schneier famously referred to the current system as
bordering on "security theater," in which the measures taken are more officious than efficient. This
tendency toward such blunt theatrics has only been magnified by the "enhanced screening procedures" introduced
in November 2010. Ron Paul, ever the champion of the individual, described the new system as "appalling"
and "abusive." There is no doubt that many of those who have fallen afoul of its excesses would agree.
Ron Paul calls for end of TSA.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul added the Transportation Security Administration to the long list of federal agencies
he would like to abolish yesterday.
Totally Screwed-Up Administration. What kind of politically correct security allows a Nigerian man
without a valid boarding pass to get on an airplane and fly cross-country while we search the adult diaper of
a 95-year-old cancer patient?
Oh, yeah. This will help. TSA Airport Screeners
Vote to Join Union. The American Federation of Government Employees said Thursday [6/23/2011] it
has won the right to represent more than 40,000 airport-security screeners employed by the federal government,
months after the Obama administration cleared the way for the workers to organize. The screeners, who
work for the Transportation Security Administration, chose the AFGE in a runoff vote against the National
Treasury Employees Union by a margin of 8,903 to 8,447 votes.
members call for investigation of TSA. Two Republican House members are calling for an
investigation of the Transportation Security Administration after serious lapses in security led to
the firing of dozens TSA employees at Honolulu International Airport.
Now Storming Public Places 8,000 Times a Year. Americans must to decide if, in the name of
homeland security, they are willing to allow TSA operatives to storm public places in their communities
with no warning, pat them down, and search their bags. And they better decide quickly. Bus
travelers were shocked when jackbooted TSA officers in black SWAT-style uniforms descended unannounced upon
the Tampa Greyhound bus station in April with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and federal
bureaucrats in tow.
TSA Supervisor Sentenced for Bribery. A former supervisor with the Transportation Security Administration
has been sentenced to more than two years in prison after pleading guilty to taking bribes from a TSA officer
who was stealing from passengers.
Airport security supervisor jailed in kickback scheme. A former security supervisor at Newark
Liberty International Airport was sentenced to 30 months in prison Wednesday for accepting bribes and
kickbacks from a co-worker who regularly stole money from passengers during security screenings, U.S.
Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.
Government workers can be fired! TSA
suspends 12 Honolulu workers, plans to fire 36. The Transportation Security Administration
said Friday it plans to fire 36 workers, including two high-ranking officials, and has suspended
12 others after an investigation found they did not properly screen baggage at Honolulu International
Cuts $270 Million From TSA Budget. A $42.3 billion defense budget bill passed by the
House will cut $270 million from the TSA and eliminate collective bargaining privileges for TSA
workers. Union leaders are not happy.
A Federal No-Fly Zone Over
Texas? Proving that the extortionist tendencies of the Obama administration aren't limited to
the NLRB's suit against Boeing, the Department of Justice threatened the state of Texas with a complete
suspension of air travel in and out of that state if its Senate approved HB 1937, a bill which would
have banned "intrusive touching of persons seeking access to public buildings and transportation." The
penalty for doing so would have been a $4,000 fine and one year in jail.
A People's Approach to National Security. Two
recent incidents, a tweeted photo of TSA agents examining a baby and a man shouting pounding on a cockpit door while shouting
"Allah Akbar" being subdued by passengers, remind us of the absurd fictions of airline security. The biggest fiction of
airline security is that it is secure. The second biggest fiction is that it is even meant to be secure. The TSA
and its naked scanners don't exist to provide security, but to provide plausible deniability when an attack does happen.
Sex, Lies & the TSA. [Scroll
down] In our opinion, the TSA has been openly running a criminal organization since its existence.
The fourth amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects American citizens from unreasonable searches.
Unfortunately, this law is apparently not followed anymore, and our rights under the fourth amendment are not
being protected. The TSA's response is quite simplistic. According to TSA Head, John Pistole, if
passengers refuse screening by scanners or pat downs, they do not have the right to fly. The problem with
this, however, is that the TSA is now expanding its searches to other venues, including roadside checkpoints
where backscatter scanners are being used to inspect passenger and cargo vehicles.
Slip By TSA Behavior Detection Officers. Years after implementing a costly passenger screening
program, the Homeland Security agency responsible for protecting the nation's transportation system failed to
detect terrorists at U.S. airports on nearly two dozen occasions. As a result the terrorists slipped right
through "security" checkpoints and boarded commercial airplanes, according to a government report that's difficult
to swallow nearly a decade after the worst terrorist attacks in U.S. history.
Just what this country needs: More
thought crimes. TSA security looks at people who
complain about ... TSA security. Don't like the way airport screeners are doing their job?
You might not want to complain too much while standing in line. Arrogant complaining about airport security
is one indicator Transportation Security Administration officers consider when looking for possible criminals and
terrorists, CNN has learned exclusively. And, when combined with other behavioral indicators, it could result
in a traveler facing additional scrutiny.
Ridge warns of consequences to TSA unionization. A unionized Transportation Security
Administration threatens to undermine the flexibility required by the federal agency, former Homeland
Security Secretary Tom Ridge warned yesterday [3/16/2011]. "I was part of the [Bush] administration
when we built the TSA, and the department concluded for a variety of reasons, including the flexibility of
the workforce, that we shouldn't unionize," Ridge said at an event about aviation security. Ridge said
former TSA administrators opposed unionization for good reason...
Barack Obama: Union Organizer.
Even as greedy public employee unions turn state capitols into battleground, in a desperate attempt to keep
taxpayers from rescinding the spoils of collective bargaining, President Barack Obama is overseeing the
largest public union organizing attempt in history. If you were thinking that the last thing air
travelers, and the American taxpayer, need on their hands is unionized airport security screeners, you
should know that your President is working very hard to bring them to you.
No, We're Not Safer Than
Before 9/11. Recently a passenger brought box cutters through a passenger screening point and on
to an airliner. In response to this, the Transportation Security Administration announced that the
screeners responsible would get "remedial training." There's been a lot of coverage of this event,
including legitimate outrage that the sloppy TSA employees weren't fired. What most people don't realize
is that tolerating failure and outright sloppy work has been a hallmark of U.S. aviation security from the
beginning. The truth is nobody has ever been held accountable for aviation security failures —
nobody. From top to bottom, the TSA arrogantly claims it does nothing wrong.
U.S. Fails To Secure
Flight Schools. Nearly a decade after terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center and
Pentagon how could the U.S. government permit an illegal immigrant to obtain a pilot's license and run a
school that trains dozens of foreigners to fly small aircraft? The question is directed at the Homeland
Security agency responsible for scrutinizing all foreign flight students before they can take lessons or get a
pilot's license in the U.S. Here's a hint; the agency was created after 9/11 specifically to prevent another
terrorist attack by protecting the nation's transportation system, especially aviation. It's the
Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Will TSA Unionization
Jeopardize Air Safety? I don't know about you, but when I see a slow, rude Transportation Security
Administration agent going through granny's purse at airport security, I think to myself: "What the TSA needs
is more bureaucracy — if only they were unionized!" Well, we might get our wish.
The Editor says...
At first, the TSA said there was no way the images could leave the scanning machine and be used for
any unofficial purpose. The Senate obviously does not believe that, since they are making provisions for
felony charges when — not if — that happens.
airports. There are many ways to improve air travel. Unionizing the Transportation Security
Administration (TSA) isn't one of them. Until recently, the TSA was operating under a very sensible
policy: no collective bargaining. Why introduce the possibility of strikes and protracted
negotiations to an agency in charge of ensuring the safety of millions of air passengers?
the TSA. After a mere nine years in existence, the Transportation Security Administration
rivals the DMV and the Postal Service as a played-out comedy cliché. And now the TSA is
adding union bureaucracy to the mix. Second-rate standup performers are licking their chops; the
rest of us should be much less delighted. The agency's head, John Pistole, recently gave its
40,000-plus employees the right to argain collectively on "non-security employment issues." Two
unions, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and the National Treasury Employees
Union (NTEU), will compete in an election tentatively set to begin March 9.
Chief "Willing" To Fire Employees En Masse If Need Be. Trying to quell concerns over his decision
to let security officers vote on whether they want unions to represent them, Transportation Security Administration
chief John Pistole told lawmakers Thursday [2/10/2011] he would be "willing" to fire TSA employees en masse
should they go on strike or cause a slowdown in operations.
The Editor says...
Yeah, right. That's what he says. But Obama is no Reagan, and once the
TSA goons are unionized and have the support of all the other unions, there's no way they
will ever be teminated in large numbers.
Texas, Forming Solid Resistance to TSA. Austin, Texas — known for Longhorns, live
music, and legislative lollapaloozas — is poised to be the subject of a different kind of
notoriety. The nationwide undertone of opposition to the TSA is surfacing in the state's capitol [sic]
city. Austin is developing a downright defiance of the agency's shocking treatment of American air
travelers into a cohesive defense of liberty.
The TSA Two-Step. The tale of
two Friday afternoon announcements as part of a plan to unionize TSA screeners and keep the process
quiet until it's complete.
unions seen as winners in TSA move. The Transportation Security Administration is blocking
airports that want to use private screeners instead of federal employees in a move the agency's critics say
is a sop to labor unions. Several dozen airports around the country are considering opting out of TSA
screening and hiring private-sector firms to search passengers and luggage under federal supervision.
At least six airports already have applied for permission to hire private screeners, as they are allowed
to do under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001.
Dems put unions ahead of air safety? Air travelers and taxpayers alike are the biggest losers
in Transportation Security Administration (TSA) chief John Pistole's decision to allow airport screeners to
collectively bargain. That may be why the decision was made public late Friday when it was bound to
attract minimal media coverage. Conversely, Democrats in Congress are the biggest winners.
Head for Showdown With Senate Over TSA Representation. Unions that want to represent thousands
of airport screeners are heading for a showdown with the Senate as early as Monday, with some lawmakers looking
to revoke the collective-bargaining rights the Transportation Security Administration just granted them.
TSA shuts door on
private airport screening program. A program that allows airports to replace government
screeners with private screeners is being brought to a standstill, just a month after the Transportation
Security Administration said it was "neutral" on the program.
Unions Build Ranks, Court TSA for Membership. Thousands of airport security screeners
could choose a union to represent them as early as March, marking the latest expansion of union influence
in the public sector, which now has more labor union members than the private sector.
TSA on the hot seat.
It was only a matter of time before the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) campaign of groping and
intimately photographing frequent flyers would come back and bite the agency. That time has come. House
leaders have put a frequent traveler in charge of the Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense
and Foreign Operations.
TSA: Living on Borrowed Time?
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year. At TSA
headquarters alone, there are 3,526 staff whose average salary tops $106,000. And while the TSA has
gotten very good at groping airline passengers and undressing them with full body scans, the organization has
yet to prevent a single terrorist attack. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation released
last spring revealed that at least 17 known terrorists have been able to pass through TSA security totally
Rutherford Institute Sues
DHS and TSA over Scanners, Virtual Strip Searches. Insisting that Americans do not shed their
privacy rights when entering an airport or boarding a plane, The Rutherford Institute has filed a Fourth
Amendment lawsuit in federal court against Janet Napolitano, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security (DHS), and John Pistole, administrator of the Transportation Security Agency (TSA), on behalf of
three airline passengers who were subjected to invasive body searches by TSA agents under the agency's
enhanced screening and pat-down procedures.
Should airports ditch the TSA?
More and more major airports are thinking of replacing TSA screeners with private security contractors.
Would that make fliers safer or happier?
TSA Christmas memo defies facts. A
memorandum dated 24 December 2010 signed by TSA Director John Pistole and Deputy Administrator Gale Rossides was
sent to all Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents, praising the advances made by the TSA this year.
Not all federal agents who received this memo were in agreement with the reported strides made by the TSA as Pistole
alleges, with some calling the memo "pure propaganda" and "boldly inaccurate." ... The TSA, an agency that never stopped
an attack on any airline in its nine year history, nonetheless boasted to its employees that they kept air travel safe in
Feel Safe Yet? Just imagine the
possibility ... that jihadis would want to infiltrate the TSA, so as to place operatives in strategic
positions who could then ensure that airport security became lax at the precisely opportune moment.
TSA, Youth Corps Now Officially part of Obama
Gestapo. As we have seen recently, Obama & Co is now openly, without trying to
hide its intent, using the misnamed "Transportation Security Administration" to intimidate and force
non-Muslim/non-minority US citizen-travelers into getting used to being completely oppressed via sexual
groping techniques; techniques that are also being regularly used on young children to prepare them, while
they're still young, for a lifetime of being submissive to all government totalitarian demands.
Failure Rate May Approach 70%. It seems like terrorists don't even need to think of crazy new shoe,
underwear, or pancake bombs to get around the TSA, since airport security seems to have forgotten what normal weapons
look like. Though they still won't let me bring four ounces of conditioner onto the plane.
Terrorizing Our Own. TSA security measures
have not stopped a single terrorist. Their only purpose is to show that the government is "taking terrorism
seriously". ... The TSA measures aren't meant to keep us safe, but to protect them from blame when the inevitable
happens. To keep the public cowed and in their place, to avoid any violence during the coming "transition" from
freedom to Islam.
Investigates TSA Stand Down On National Opt Out Day. A civil liberties watchdog group has filed a
Freedom of Information Act request in an attempt to shed more light on the TSA's efforts to disrupt a day of protest
aimed at full body scanners and invasive pat-downs by largely curtailing their use for one day only last week.
The FOIA request also seeks to determine whether the TSA regards the leaders of the protest movement as "domestic
extremists", following the leak of a TSA memo indicating that to be the case.
TSA, under the direction of Napolitano, consent
of Obama, collecting names, personal information, labeling them as potential "domestic extremists." Taking names, Napolitano style. [Scroll
down] As I stated in my original report, the new DHS procedures have everything to do with control and conditioning
and nothing to do with actual security. The TSA enhancements and the DHS databases are noticeably on the uptick,
taking aim at law abiding American citizens who threaten the globalist agenda or the allegedly non-existent, once
conspiratorial "New World Order" under global governance doctrine.
Sacramento-area pilot punished for YouTube
video. An airline pilot is being disciplined by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for posting
video on YouTube pointing out what he believes are serious flaws in airport security. The 50-year-old pilot, who lives
outside Sacramento, asked that neither he nor his airline be identified. He has worked for the airline for more than a
decade and was deputized by the TSA to carry a gun in the cockpit.
Exactly the way Russia would handle it... Pilot
punished for showing TSA the truth. His original video posted on YouTube was fuzzy and jumpy,
which you might expect from a cell phone, but it was enough for TSA to show up at the home of the person
capturing those images with four Sky Marshals and two sheriff's deputies, and confiscate the man's handgun
which they had issued to him because he was authorized to carry weapons as part of the government's armed
pilots program. They also ordered him to remove the video from YouTube.
TSA punishes pilot for
criticizing its security flaws. Behaving more like a thuggish third world dictatorship than the guardians
of a democratic society, TSA agents have swooped down on a pilot who had the temerity to publicly point out flaws in the
security system at San Francisco International Airport. Quite clearly, the agency is far more concerned to appear
to be doing a good job than in actually carrying out its mission.
Wants to 'Come Out of Shadows'. The airline pilot who spoke out anonymously after he was
reprimanded by the TSA for posting videos showing security flaws at a major airport said today he may
reveal his identity this week. The 50-year-old California man told ABC affiliate KXTV in Sacramento
that he hopes he will be able to "safely come out of the shadows."
Congressman to TSA: Stop harassing pilot,
fix the problem. A Sacramento-area airline pilot has made national headlines after posting YouTube
videos showing security flaws at San Francisco International Airport. The 50-year-old man shared those
videos with News10 to highlight what he and his attorney call serious security flaws.
The pilot now has his own web site: TSA Whistleblowing Patriot Pilot. The Patriot Pilot
is an average man, like many of us, who simply wanted to make sure that the American public was truly safe
when flying the 'friendly skies'.
Silences Pilot For Telling The Truth. A pilot who posted a YouTube video documenting flaws in
TSA's airport security has his home raided and federally issued firearm confiscated. Body scanners and
junk-touching are just the beginning.
No Illegal Alien Pilot Left Behind.
While Islamic terrorists groom suicide bombers starting in kindergarten, the grownups in charge of protecting
America can't seem to reach an elementary level of competence. The "good" news: Hindsight-driven
bureaucrats at DHS moved to ban high-risk cargo from Yemen and Somalia this week after a global air scare
involving makeshift printer/toner cartridge-bombs. The bad news: More than nine years after the
9/11 jihadist attacks, untold numbers of high-risk flyers have been able to board, ride and pilot American
planes — some with Transportation Security Administration approval to boot.
Victory for Islamic Jihad Courtesy of the TSA. The arguments presented for the continued existence
of the TSA and in defense of its "enhanced" but invasive pat-down security procedures and full-body scans have
the substance of single-hole Swiss cheese. The TSA has never stopped, foiled, or even detected an attempted
airline bombing. It is a purely reactionary organization, as pitifully inept as a "Had I But Known"
detective novel. It claims, with a tongue-in-cheek it hopes nobody will notice, that it "knew all
along" about incidents after they have happened. If this were true, the incidents would never have
occurred, and the American public would never hear the end of it from the TSA's publicists. It did not
foil the Christmas Day bomber of 2009, and it was British security that uncovered the printer-cartridge plot.
The Oregon Christmas Tree lighting bomb plot was foiled by the F.B.I. Can the TSA claim an equivalent
action? No. The TSA cannot boast of one foiled incidence of terrorism.
Enemies List. Novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand noted, many years ago: "We are fast approaching the
stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while
the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage
of rule by brute force." The Department of Homeland Security and the TSA are not satisfied with treating
Americans like pieces of meat, or like printer cartridges, or prison inmates. It is compiling a database
of everyone who opposes the new procedures, that is, anyone who has written anything whatsoever critical of
the DHS and TSA, and whose words may cause others to oppose or "disrupt" the assembly line.
The Editor says...
I must be on that list by now!
TSA: a profile in cowardice. At
the TSA political correctness trumps security, meaning that it's okay to intrusively inconvenience 100% of
travelers, so long as that small percentage of potentially aggrieved followers of a death cult aren't singled
out. As result more and more people are giving up flying, which very likely is one of the outcomes that
Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki are looking for. It's clear that we have lost the will to prevail,
given our responses to being attacked by an alien philosophy.
Sugar-coated tyranny is still tyranny. The TSA singers. In case you've
missed the last couple of months, the TSA has been ramping up its regime of full-body, naked scans of air
travelers, complemented by intense pat-downs that amount to government-sanctioned sexual assault. Reports
of abuse have been rampant, including the grotesque targeting of female travelers by male TSA officers, and
questions about privacy, power, and how these procedures can possibly jibe with Americans' Constitutional
rights. It was rightly to be hoped that as we moved into the Christmas travel season, and as opposition
to their vulgar policies grew, the TSA would remedy — or at least acknowledge — these
glaring flaws. Instead, we find they are singing Christmas carols. Yes, the TSA has returned to
the headlines as a choir of its officers sings to travelers at Los Angeles International Airport.
Air-Security Myths. [Myth #1] The fact that there have been no attacks since 9/11 vindicates
TSA. The logical fallacy here is known as post hoc, ergo propter hoc. There is zero reason to
credit TSA's new tactics with anything save annoying unlucky travelers. We can see this by looking at incidents
in which governments actually foiled terror plots. None of them involved TSA-style measures.
TSA's John Pistole. As Americans
continue to watch in utter amazement as the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration
demonstrates its continued inability to identify and target likely hostile travelers and, therefore, subjects 100% of
travelers to intrusive screening, we all are wondering Why? The answer is actually straightforward:
TSA Director John Pistole.
The naked truth about
the TSA. The terrorists have not won. They are, however, enjoying a laugh at the expense of us zany
infidels. Government-sponsored idiocies unleashed at American airports over the last few weeks have Americans
battling one another rather than the common Islamic militant foe. Understandable, but misguided, passenger
protests threaten to gum up an air travel system that's already ridiculously invasive and expensive without being
The Unions Have Won! It was a
year ago that Obama nominated Erroll Southers for the top position at TSA. Union sycophant Southers had
to drop out of the nominating process, but Obama never did give up the idea of unionizing the TSA.
needs false flag security incident to convince Americans to accept obscene pat-downs. So far,
the TSA is molesting children, teens and grannies without being able to demonstrate that this gross violation of
Americans' Fourth Amendment rights is having any effect whatsoever on improving air travel safety. But if
there's anything to be learned from 9/11, it's that the sheeple are always willing to give up their rights if
they can be scared into doing so.
Beck: Obama Will Blame
Terror Attack On TSA Resistance. In little noticed comments made during an appearance on Judge Andrew
Napolitano's show on Fox News, Glenn Beck warned that the Obama administration wouldn't hesitate to exploit a terror
attack targeting airliners to blame the event on people protesting naked body scanners and TSA groping in airports.
TSA Scans "Won't Catch Anybody". Since 9/11, cryptology expert and security consultant Bruce
Schneier has been one of the most pointed critics of the government's anti-terrorism security programs.
In his 2003 book "Beyond Fear," he coined the phrase "security theater" to refer to measures which are
undertaken not because they will be effective at thwarting attacks, but because the agencies carrying
them out need to appear to be doing something useful.
Just Don't Fly: Where
Might the TSA Take Us Next? "Don't fly." That's Janet Napolitano's answer to those who
oppose the regime of poke and grope that is today's Transportation Safety Agency. America is, after all,
a land of choices. When you arrive at the airport, you can allow some complete stranger to irradiate you
with a device that allows the operator to see you naked. Or you can allow some friendly security agent
to put hands in places where they have no business. Or you can drive. Before you jump out of line
and into your car, however, be warned that you can be fined up to $11,000 for changing your mind at the
Replace the TSA
with the Louisville Option. TSA has elegantly proven that a well-funded government bureaucracy
can spend 19 million dollars a day while trashing our Constitution and simultaneously molesting three-year-old
children. Current TSA policies nicely mirror Obama's own ongoing national trifecta of debt, corruption and
socialist-inspired ideological assaults on American values. Yes, one more bloody notch carved into the
American psyche by this Administration.
Disband the TSA. In
nearly a decade there is not a single report of a terrorist having been caught during the TSA screening
process. No bombs have been discovered. No hijackings have been thwarted. For the TSA to
claim it has made the nation's skies safer is as absurd as the rooster taking credit for the sun rising each
morning. Observant passengers have caught more terrorist-wannabes than the 67,000 TSA employees.
Why Air Security is the
Issue. There is a certain "stench" of a government bureaucracy. It's what one senses inside any
DMV office or IRS office or Social Security office. It's a freedom-draining system of shackles put in place by
elites and carried out by factotums. And nothing captures it quite like the TSA. The TSA restricts. It
dehumanizes. It depresses. It invades. It costs. It fails in its stated mission as it creates
jobs for the unemployable. It is government on display for all to see. It is what our health care will
become if we keep silent. It's un-American. And it's not America. Not yet.
Sitting Duck Syndrome.
Based on everything I've read, it would appear that the TSA has NEVER thwarted any attempt by any passenger trying to
get through their security with a device or intent to do harm on an airplane. Therefore, I can assume that they
have not had any successes in regards to stopping an actual event. Their perceived success lies simply in the fact
that many folks seem to "feel better and safer" witnessing all of the precautionary acts taking place prior to a flight.
The path to safer air travel. The
national "opt out" day next Wednesday [11/24/2010] was created to protest body scanners and enhanced TSA pat downs at
airports. While it illustrates passenger dissatisfaction about the intrusive and humiliating security
procedures and constitutional issues, it does nothing to fix the gaping security holes we have at our
airports. Amid the outcries and protests, it is rarely pointed out that there has never been a instance
where the Transportation Security Administration has ever stopped or thwarted a potential terror attack against
our airlines. Not one.
What's Wrong With The TSA?
The Transportation Safety Administration has three main areas of failure, of which employees fondling women and
children is just the most obvious sign. The worst part, or at least equally as bad as violating the
personal privacy of innocent, law-abiding travelers, is that what they're doing has no effect on the actual
security of the airways, let alone the country. They're tormenting us just for show — and to
soak up tax dollars.
union for Transportation Security workers. If you've flown lately, the odds are good that you had
a rubber-gloved Transportation Security Administration agent touch you in places that would otherwise result in
the issuance of an arrest warrant for unwanted groping. Even so, despite years of imposing increasingly
invasive new security procedures, the TSA has yet to catch one terrorist. By contrast, the Washington
Post reported in May that "at least 23" TSA agents have been fired since 2007 for stealing from
passengers. There were also "at least eight unrelated incidents involving practical jokes played on air
passengers, drug use, leaving a security post and falling asleep on the job."
Southeast Airports Debate Dropping TSA
Scanners. Airports in Florida and Georgia are debating whether to replace Transportation
Security Administration employees who run security checkpoints with private contractors. Rep. John Mica
of Florida sent a letter to the nation's 100 busiest airports this month urging them to consider using
contractors. He's a longtime critic of the TSA.
Sanford Airport to opt out of TSA
screening. The backlash continues over those new TSA screening measures, and now one Central Florida
airport has decided to go with a private security screening firm. Orlando Sanford International Airport
has decided to opt out from TSA screening.
Firing the TSA. Janet
Napolitano is getting a lesson: treat customers unreasonably and they will leave. Airport operators
do not have to use TSA to screen passengers, and an airport has already announced it will use one of the five
private screening firms already approved to offer security screening for air travelers.
Big Brother Is Scanning
You. There seems to be a growing revolt among the traveling populace against the new TSA
full-body scanners -- which examine the naked figure for contraband -- and the invasive "pat-downs"
administered to those bold, or foolhardy, enough to decline the scanner. I am in full sympathy
with people who are horrified by either prospect, and am intrigued by the extent to which discontent and
civil disobedience is spreading across the landscape.
Napolitano: The Ball's In My Court Now.
After the 9/11 attacks, when 19 Muslim terrorists -- 15 from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates
and one each from Egypt and Lebanon, 14 with "al" in their names -- took over commercial aircraft with
box-cutters, the government banned sharp objects from planes. ... After another Muslim terrorist, Richard
Reid, AKA Tariq Raja, AKA Abdel Rahim, AKA Abdul Raheem, AKA Abu Ibrahim, AKA Sammy Cohen (which was only
his eHarmony alias), tried to blow up a commercial aircraft with explosive-laden sneakers, the government
prohibited more than 3 ounces of liquid from being carried on airplanes.
T&A at the TSA. There
is no bigger threat to America's aviation industry than the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
In less than a decade, the bureaucratic agency has heightened the hassle involved in taking to the skies.
One can only imagine how much longer it will be before the majority of Americans decide they'd be better off
hitting the highways.
Frontal Nudity Doesn't Make Us Safer: Abolish the TSA. In the spirit of bipartisanship and
sanity, I propose that the first thing on the chopping block should be an ineffective organization that
wastes money, violates our rights, and encourages us to make decisions that imperil our safety. I'm
talking about the Transportation Security Administration. Bipartisan support should be immediate.
For fiscal conservatives, it's hard to come up with a more wasteful agency than the TSA. For privacy
advocates, eliminating an organization that requires you to choose between a nude body scan or genital
groping in order to board a plane should be a no-brainer.
can vote on union representation, labor board rules. In a significant victory for federal employee unions,
the Federal Labor Relations Authority decided Friday [11/12/2010] that Transportation Security Administration staffers
will be allowed to vote on union representation. The decision clears the way for a campaign by the government's
two largest labor organizations, the American Federation of Government Employees and the National Treasury Employees
Union, to represent some 50,000 transportation security officers.
The Editor says...
Oh, good! They'll be much more efficient workers when they can't be fired.
ejects Oceanside man from airport for refusing security check. John Tyner won't be pheasant hunting
in South Dakota with his father-in-law any time soon. Tyner was simultaneously thrown out of San Diego
International Airport on Saturday morning [11/13/2010] for refusing to submit to a security check and
threatened with a civil suit and $10,000 fine if he left.
Irradiating JFK. [Scroll down] So the pass Americans have granted the TSA may be expiring.
Which is as catastrophic for the agency as it is indispensable for liberty. Even the most totalitarian
regime rules only with its citizens' indulgence: once enough people determine to overthrow tyranny, not
even the most indomitable dictator can withstand them. Let us fervently pray that the TSA is about to
learn that lesson.
I'm fed up with the TSA. I arrived at
the Los Angeles Airport more than an hour early. I had made good time on the highway. I wasn't
checking any bags, so with my boarding pass in hand I proceeded to the gate. I was greeted with a
security line that was almost an hour long. The line snaked around the terminal, out the door, and
stretched down the sidewalk. At the front of the line sat a lone Transportation Security Administration
(TSA) officer studiously checking identification with a jeweler's loupe, the small magnifying glass jewelers
use to look for flaws in gemstones. It is little wonder that polls consistently find that the TSA is
the most hated U.S. government agency, even more despised than the Internal Revenue Service.
TSA to Block "Controversial Opinion"
on the Web. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is blocking certain websites from
the federal agency's computers, including halting access by staffers to any Internet pages that contain a
"controversial opinion," according to an internal email obtained by CBS News. ... The email does not specify
how the TSA will determine if a website expresses a "controversial opinion."
union to distribute leaflets at airport. Informational pickets from the union representing
security screeners at Indianapolis International Airport are expected today [6/17/2010] to begin passing
out leaflets outside the passenger terminal. The union that has limited rights to represent the 40,000
employees nationwide of the Transportation Security Administration is trying to win full recognition for
TSA Officers Lack Training to Spot
Terrorists. A new government report released Thursday reveals that federal officers with the
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) who are tasked with the job of spotting terrorists at airports
have little training.
Get the Government Out of
Airport Screening. In a hasty overreaction to [9/11], Congress gave the job of screening
passengers and baggage to a new federal agency: the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
As a result, taxpayers pay for more than 48,000 airport security screeners and TSA has requested nearly
$8.2 billion in funding for 2011. Creating the massive bureaucracy was a mistake.
More brilliant Security moves from Obama... now
with TSA staff. Our President has made the bold announcement that 10,000 TSA staff will get
"secret Intelligence." Is this how we are going to save America's airlines and airports from terrorists?
Let's make sure that 10,000 mystery people working at TSA now get secret Intelligence. I feel so much
Woman Accused Of Hitting TSA Agent Over
Applesauce. A judge Tuesday [4/20/2010] threw out a case against Nadine Hays, who is accused of
hitting a TSA agent who allegedly tried to take away her elderly mother's applesauce — if she
stays out of trouble for six months.
TSA worker plants white powder baggie on
traveller as a joke. These days, joking about anything illegal while in an airport security
line will likely land you in a holding cell, and might even result in criminal charges. But this
column from the Philadelphia Inquirer has some wondering whether that rule applies to TSA employees
was no joke at security gate. In the tense new world of air travel, we're stripped of shoes,
told not to take too much shampoo on board, frowned on if we crack a smile. The last thing we expect
is a joke from a Transportation Security Administration screener — particularly one this stupid.
TSA complaint close to home. Last month's column on the TSA worker who jokingly planted a bag
of white powder on a passenger at Philadelphia International Airport generated a half-million page views and
scores of tips of other alleged abuses by those who work to keep us safe. Until last week, none of those
complaints involved Philadelphia. Then I heard about Nadine Pellegrino, who learned just how powerful the
government's word can be.
isn't the problem. I handed over my driver's licence and, as he had done with all the previous
passengers, the Transportation Security Administration agent examined it. And examined it. And
examined it some more. He had a loupe, one of those magnifying glasses jewellers use to examine diamonds
for any surface blemishes or internal flaws. In this case, he was deploying it to examine how the ink
lies on the paper. And when he'd finished doing that he got out his UV light to study the watermark on
my licence. And, looking down at his bald patch as he went about his work with loving care, I was
overcome by a sudden urge to point out that nobody had ever blown up a U.S. airliner with a fake
DeMint: TSA nominee isn't qualified, shouldn't be
confirmed. Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, who has been the target of much Democratic
criticism for his efforts to slow down Senate confirmation of Erroll Southers, the Obama White
House's nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration, now says Southers should not be
confirmed. DeMint has been critical of Southers for refusing to answer questions about whether
Southers would work toward unionizing the TSA.
Another Republican opposes TSA nominee Erroll Southers.
The top Republican on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is urging Republican Sen. Jim
DeMint to stand firm in opposing the nomination of Erroll Southers to head the Transportation Security Administration.
Theater Now Playing at Your Airport. [Scroll down] Worse yet, consider the panicky Mickey-Mouse,
and embarrassing steps the U.S. Transportation Security Administration implemented hours after the Detroit bombing
attempt: no crew announcements "concerning flight path or position over cities or landmarks," and disabling
all passenger communications services. During a flight's final hour, passengers may not stand up, access
carry-on baggage, nor "have any blankets, pillows, or personal belongings on the lap." ... The TSA engages
in "security theater" — bumbling pretend-steps that treat all passengers equally rather than risk
offending anyone by focusing, say, on religion.
Military Blogger Michael Yon Detained, Handcuffed by TSA in Seattle
Airport. [Scroll down slowly] Yon described the TSA officials as noticeably frustrated
by his refusal to answer their questions: "I always assume everything is being recorded. I was
trying to be professional." Yon continued, "They said I wasn't under arrest, but I'm handcuffed. In
any other country, that qualifies as an arrest." ... "TSA people are out of control," he said. "They
are not doing their jobs, they are harassing people, creating animosity. They ask you 'what time is
your connective flight?' and they bully you until you miss the flight."
DeMint: Unions are already hurting Border Patrol —
TSA next? [Scroll down] DeMint has placed a hold on President Obama's nomination of
Erroll Southers to head the TSA because Southers refused to say whether he would support TSA unionization.
As we have noted, Southers has deeper problems that should disqualify him from such a position of authority.
The mere fact that as an FBI agent he once used a government database to spy on his wife's boyfriend should
be enough to prevent the promotion of Southers. That he also lied about the decades-old incident
recently before Congress only adds to the problems with his nomination.
Security Administration on trial. The editorial pages of practically every major newspaper in the
country have warned that the Transportation Security Administration is failing. Left, right, center, it
doesn't matter. The incompetence is obvious to anyone who looks. Just last week this page dubbed
TSA the "Terrorism Service Administration" for broadcasting detailed security information that could be used
to slip through our defenses.
Security Administration on trial. The U.S. government knew purported bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
might be dangerous, but only placed him on a watch list that failed to bring him to the attention of anyone who
could do anything before he got on the plane. That he was banned from entering Britain alone was surely enough
to subject him to great scrutiny at airport checkpoints. He purchased a ticket with cash and had no checked
luggage, all behaviors that are supposed to flag passengers. They were two of the very red flags we
missed on Sept. 11, 2001.
misled Congress about accessing confidential records. The White House nominee to lead the
Transportation Security Administration gave Congress misleading information about incidents in which he
inappropriately accessed a federal database, possibly in violation of privacy laws, documents obtained
by The Washington Post show.
Security Breach As Agency Gives Away Its Secrets. In a massive security breach, the Transportation
Security Administration (TSA) inadvertently posted online its airport screening procedures manual, including some
of the most closely guarded secrets regarding special rules for diplomats and CIA and law enforcement officers.
TSA Hands Al-Qaeda Its
Playbook. In a blunder of astonishingly poor judgment, the TSA allowed one of its
most sensitive documents, the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) manual, to be posted online.
And then, instead of admitting the seriousness of its security breach, the TSA tried to take the
position that the information wasn't that important. Only after Congress got involved did
TSA take any action.
Bureaucrats With Badges.
Shortly after the Transportation Security Administration assumed control of airport security and [Conrad] Burns was still
serving in Congress he was at Washington's National Airport for a flight home. National is the airport used
almost exclusively by members of Congress to fly in and out of the nation's capital. Burns showed his U.S.
Senate identification to a TSA agent who refused to accept it, telling him she was not familiar with the
government-issued photo ID. He had to produce another form of picture ID she demanded. In an
attempt to be funny, Burns offered his Sam's Club shopping card. The agent accepted it and sent
Burns on his way.
Tells Airport Screeners to Stick to Weapons and Explosives. The American Civil Liberties Union
has dropped its lawsuit against the Transportation Security Administration after the TSA revised its policy
on searching travelers, telling screeners they can only investigate transportation-related issues, barring
them from seeking evidence of crimes unrelated to air safety.
rules changed after Ron Paul aide detained. An angry aide to Rep. Ron Paul, an iPhone and $4,700 in
cash have forced the Transportation Security Administration to quietly issue two new rules telling its airport
screeners they can only conduct searches related to airplane safety.
Terrorist watch list
hits 1 million. The government's terrorist watch list has hit 1 million entries,
up 32% since 2007. Federal data show the rise comes despite the removal of 33,000 entries last
year by the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center in an effort to purge the list of outdated information
and remove people cleared in investigations.
suggested daily for FBI's list. Newly released FBI data offer evidence of the broad scope and
complexity of the nation's terrorist watch list, documenting a daily flood of names nominated for inclusion
to the controversial list. During a 12-month period ended in March this year, for example, the U.S.
intelligence community suggested on a daily basis that 1,600 people qualified for the list because they
presented a "reasonable suspicion," according to data provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee by the
FBI in September and made public last week.
Laptop Search Hit
Rate: Only 1.4%. Under Customs' laptop search policy — first revealed
on July 16, 2008 — computers, other digital media, and documents can be searched at
the border with no individualized suspicion at all, and can be seized as evidence only when a Customs
agent determines that there is probable cause. The policy permits agents to conduct the search
without having either evidence of wrongdoing or even approval of a supervisor. It authorizes
Customs agents to copy the contents of a laptop or other digital medium and send it to a distant
location where persons unseen and unknown to the traveler decrypt and translate data in the laptop,
and it permits Customs to "detain" the computer for weeks or for months while this occurs.
Computers, Customs, and You. Without
a warrant, probable cause or even the faintest suspicion, US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) may decide to
search your computer and all its files, your cell phone, and iPod when you return home from abroad. It
offers the usual excuse for eviscerating the Fourth Amendment: "Our ability to inspect what is coming
into the United States is central to keeping dangerous people and things from entering the country and
harming the American people." Actually, its ability to inspect is harming the American people since
Customs' warrantless rummaging sends some victims to prison.
Are TSA's Tracking Cookies Legal?
The Transportation Security Agency's website is not only hosting a site that looks like a phishing attack designed
to steal personal information from citizens, it's also using cookies on its website — a practice
that the government frowns on. The main TSA site sets two cookies — both of which expire
in 2017. One of the cookies is set to tsa.gov, while the other is served from a web analytics company
ACLU Assails 100-Mile Border Zone
as 'Constitution-Free'. The government has long been able to search people entering and exiting
the country without need to say why, which is known as the border search exception of the Fourth Amendment.
After 9/11, Congress gave the Department of Homeland Security the right to use some of its powers deeper within
the country, and now DHS has set up at least 33 internal checkpoints where they stop people, question them and
ask them to prove citizenship, according to the ACLU.
The Things He Carried:
Airport security in America is a sham — "security theater" designed to make travelers feel better
and catch stupid terrorists. Smart ones can get through security with fake boarding passes
and all manner of prohibited items — as our correspondent did with ease.
Internal DHS Documents Detail Expansion of Power.
Recently obtained documents show that last year the Department of Homeland Security quietly reversed a
two-decades-old policy that restricted customs agents from reading and copying the personal papers carried
by travelers, including U.S. citizens.
ID-less Travelers Added to
Terrorism Threat Database. Previously, a little-known Transportation Security Administration
rule allowed airline passengers to fly without showing identification so long as they went through extra
screening. But starting June 21 this year, passengers now have to act nicely and provide enough
biographical information so that the government could 'identify' them using private databases. Then
they still get the extra screening. If the agent can't "identify" the person, the agent can block the
person from flying. But either way, according to a USA Today story, their names get added to a database
of people believed to be possible threats to aviation. The names are kept for 15 years and can be
shared with law enforcement.
TSA is as unpopular with
Americans as the IRS. As long as the TSA refuses to tell the truth about what's really going on in airports
and on airplanes, the flying public will refuse to trust the TSA. And that's going to continue to be revealed in the
TSA is both incompetent and vindictive. Homeland Security Meets The
Sopranos. Last spring, shortly after airing a news report that embarrassed the TSA and the
Federal Air Marshal Service, CNN's investigative reporter Drew Griffin was suddenly placed on the TSA's terrorist
watch list. Last week, CNN ran a follow-up piece. Anderson Cooper interviewed Griffin — a
reporter who had suddenly moved from telling an important story to being part of it. ... The TSA does target
people who critique or criticize the TSA.
Gun Nuts at 30,000 Feet? [Scroll down]
Some would-be marshals were hired even after they repeatedly shot flight attendants in mock hijack-response
training exercises. One marshal groused that the training for new marshals was "like security-guard training
for the mall." ... The air marshal who brandished his weapon had twice applied to be a cop in Philadelphia but
failed the police department's psychological tests; the marshal was also rejected in his attempt to get a job as
a prison guard. The marshal had received only two weeks of training at the time he threatened scores of
Cure For Everything: Punish The Innocent. I don't want to wait for hours while the
Transportation Safety folks subject little old ladies in wheelchairs to intrusive searches. I'd
much rather see these bureaucrats check Muslims who want to board the plane. Not every Muslim
or Arab is a terrorist. But, so far, in the War on Islamic Fascism, every terrorist has
been Muslim. … If profiling isn't acceptable because it's not Politically Correct, here
is another idea: Put the Muslims on one plane and put the rest of us on a different one.
Airport Security Follies: Consider for a moment the hypocrisy of T.S.A.'s confiscation
policy. At every concourse checkpoint you'll see a bin or barrel brimming with contraband containers
taken from passengers for having exceeded the [3 ounce] volume limit. Now, the assumption has to be
that the materials in those containers are potentially hazardous. If not, why were they seized in the
first place? But if so, why are they dumped unceremoniously into the trash? They are not
quarantined or handed over to the bomb squad; they are simply thrown away. The agency seems to be saying
that it knows these things are harmless. But it's going to steal them anyway, and either you accept
it or you don't fly.
IG Issues Scathing Report on TSA.
The Office of the Inspector General (IG) issued a report Tuesday [6/24/2008] regarding ongoing employee problems at the TSA. The
results are not surprising. Low morale among screeners is compromising national security.
TSA's new uniforms make them sick.
Or at least that's what the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) claims. It "estimate[s]"
that 200 or 300 "workers" [sic for "stand-ins at the security theater"] have complained of such symptoms.
The TSA unveiled screeners' blue shirts and gold metal badges with great foofaraw this summer. Among
their many other sins, no one at this absurd agency seems to have read Thoreau's warning against enterprises
that require new clothes. Too bad: their ignorance and new costumes cost us $12 million.
Transportation Security Administration Reorganization Act of 2005: Most independent observers
I am sure agree with Congressman Lungren after seeing the repeated reports of failure by the TSA to
accomplish its goal of securing our airports and airliners from the known threats of terrorism. After
more than four years on the job, explosives still cannot be readily identified by existing technology and
security continues to be regularly breached on TSA's watch, with no hope for improvement in sight.
TSA can't find real
bombs either. The excuse we hear from the Transportation Security Administration when yet another
report comes out finding that its screeners miss the majority of simulated bomb components that testers attempt
to bring through airport checkpoints is that the tests are designed to be difficult and nobody would be able to
get away with it if they were real bomb components. Yet investigators with no insider knowledge were able
to smuggle real bomb components, sufficient to assemble powerful improvised explosive devices based on liquid
explosives, past the TSA at 19 separate airports, according to a report released November 15 .
TSA Censoring Posts
on CNN Air Marshal Story. When a firearm goes on in a cockpit of a plane while it is on approach for landing,
and TSA comes out publicly and claims, "The aircraft and the passengers were never in any danger," does TSA really believe
the public is that stupid to believe such propaganda? Does TSA really believe that they will have any credibility
left after such comments?
Rare Marshals. Air
Marshals are leaving the agency in droves. Less that 1% of flights are now covered by armed marshals, a
CNN investigation reveals. TSA, which is in charge of the Air Marshal Service, denies the allegations.
Why Have 67,000 TSA Employees Left Their
Jobs? Over the course of its six-year life, the Transportation Security Administration has hired 110,000
employees, and 67,000 of them have quit or been fired. Frightening odds for the first-line of defense against
8,000 Foreigners Received Illegal Pilot Licenses. In one of the most damaging reports ever filed about the
Transportation Security Administration (TSA), ABC news headlined yesterday with "9/11 Redoux: 'Thousands of Aliens'
in U.S. Flight Schools Illegally." The article paints a pathetic portrait of the TSA in a free-fall, unable to handle
the most basic of its Constitutionally-mandated jobs.
The Editor says...
I must have missed the aviation section in the Constitution. What part of the
Constitution mandates the TSA?
Investigates TSA in Conflict of Interest Case. Congress has released a report detailing flaws in a TSA website
so riddled with security flaws that Congressman Henry Waxman calls it "mindboggeling." The site was set up to help
passengers remove their names from faulty watch lists but was so riddled with security holes, it could easily have been
Time to Profile Airline Passengers?
In 2003, the TSA, charged with protecting U.S. airplanes, launched a passenger profiling system known as
Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT, now operating in twelve U.S.
airports. … While methods that target the whole population have general value — SPOT
did discover passengers with forged visas, fake IDs, stolen airline tickets, and various forms of
contraband — its utility for counterterrorism is dubious.
Security: Winging It. Sadly, in today's federal bureaucracy the motto seems to
be, "punishment for failure is not an option." Consider everybody's favorite, the Transportation
Security Administration. TSA was born out of failure. After the federal government dropped
the ball on 9/11, the answer was clear: Federalize airport security! Airports got an influx
of new federal employees and air travelers found themselves subject to a series of rules they couldn't
TSA can't believe MacBook Air is a real laptop; owner misses
flight. The TSA has been known to take issue with products designed in Cupertino before, but for one particular
traveler, it was Apple's thinnest laptop ever that caused the latest holdup. Upon tossing his ultra-sleek slab of
aluminum underneath the scanner, security managed to find enough peculiarities to remove it from the flow, pull it aside and
wrangle up the owner for some questions.
Senate defeats bid to strike
TSA union rights provision. With heavy backing from organized labor, Senate Democrats prevailed
Tuesday in keeping a provision in a massive homeland security bill that gives federal airport screeners
collective bargaining rights, moving them one step closer to a veto showdown with the White House.
TSA taking closer look at
travelers' mannerisms. Looking for signs of "stress, fear and deception" among the hundreds of
passengers shuffling past him at Orlando (Fla.) International Airport one day last month, security screener
Edgar Medina focused on four casually dressed men trying to catch a flight to Minneapolis.
Bush May Veto 9/11 Security Plan
Over Airport Screener Unions. President George W. Bush may veto legislation to adopt many of
the remaining recommendations of the Sept. 11 Commission unless Senate Democrats drop a plan to allow
airport screeners to join unions, a Bush administration official said. A provision in the security
legislation now before the Senate would give government-employed airport security screeners the right to
bargain collectively for union contracts and whistle-blower protections.
Disaster. A new Government Accountability report shows that private
airport screeners do a better job at detecting dangerous object than the bureaucrats
at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This report is the last in
a long series, all of which demonstrate the poor performances of the 45,000-employee
bureaucracy. So isn't it time for Congress to acknowledge its mistake and
Tune, On Your Dime. On a weekend when the Bush administration achieved a new CAIR-friendly low,
a prominent Democrat, following the lead of other prominent Democrats, distanced herself very publicly from
the unsavory Council on American-Islamic Relations. The Transportation Security Administration is the
executive agency created after 9/11 to protect American travelers. Yet, Americans viewing its website
this weekend could not have felt very protected.
The Pretense of
Airport Security: The Transportation Security Administration is a joke, and
not a funny one, either. As you pass through the TSA's airport checkpoints, you can
expect to overhear mutters about the "gestapo," the "morons," and similar commentary from
outraged but powerless travelers who have chosen to swallow their self-respect and submit
to pointless, degrading invasions of their persons and property in order to avoid offending
the thugs who, whenever they choose, can prevent passengers from proceeding with their
travel. Something is horribly wrong with a population willing to tolerate such
routine degradation and thuggery, especially when the alleged benefits of the
humiliation are entirely bogus.
Keep Your Eye on
the TSA. Created in haste in an effort to restore the confidence of the traveling public in the
security of commercial aviation after 9/11, the TSA stands as a testament to the hubris of government in
believing that decades of neglect of commercial aviation security could be fixed simply by willing it so.
Now that it appears that the departure of Admiral Stone as the TSA's head will bring with it a reduction in
the TSA's role in aviation security, we must ask what future mischief is in store for commercial aviation.
budget proposal rewards incompetence. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks,
Congress ordered all but five commercial airports to switch from privately employed screeners
to a government workforce. Three years after the federal takeover, TSA is inundated with
complaints. The GAO reported several times on the agency's ineffectiveness at providing
quality airport screening, while the Department of Homeland Security's own inspector general
showed that passenger screening by the TSA needed to be improved to keep explosives and weapons
off commercial aircraft.
Taking an ice
pick to airline security: Truth is stranger than fiction. … The Transportation
Security Administration is looking at new rules that would again allow passengers to carry on
… ice picks, razor blades, martial arts throwing stars, bows and arrows, and knives under
five inches long … which would appear to include box cutters. The same TSA that seems
to delight in taking away our tiny nail clippers — to save us from doom
at 30,000 feet — now suggests it might be A-OK to bring an ice pick on board.
Editor's Note: Is
the TSA completely incompetent from top to bottom? In my opinion, this latest move of theirs is
a red herring. By proposing this ridiculous over-relaxation of their own rules, the TSA is apparently
trying to generate backlash and create a massive public outcry for tighter security.
unionizing airport screeners — well, some of them. While most of the Bush
administration has been fighting against increased unionization of security-related
positions since 9/11, the Transportation Security Administration is headed the other
way in a small case with national implications. TSA isn't only going against
the overall Bush Administration position; it's reversing its own stated policy.
to the war on image. In a recent meeting with Daniel Sutherland, head
of the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties division of the Department of Homeland Security,
American University's Akbar Ahmed had some suggestions, beginning, according to an online
report in the Pakistani Daily Times, with pretty much eliminating Muslim profiling at
airports. … "You simply cannot humiliate Muslims like this," Akbar said, describing
a "peak level of anger" in "the young generation on the edge." Just one more
pat-down and they'll blow.
Keep Your Eye on
the TSA. Created in haste in an effort to restore the confidence of the traveling public in
the security of commercial aviation after 9/11, the TSA stands as a testament to the hubris of government
in believing that decades of neglect of commercial aviation security could be fixed simply by willing it
Background information: Complete
List of Prohibited Items. Things you can't take to prohibited in-airport
sterile areas and in the cabins of aircraft under the TSA regulations.
Jive about airport security:
It seems as though the Federal Aviation Administration's and Department of Transportation's operative
assumption is that there's an equal chance that any person, including pilots and crewmembers, who boards a
plane is a potential hijacker. That's why FAA and DOT security regulations require that everyone, including
pilots and crew, be searched and "hijacking weapons" — like fingernail files, wine corkscrews and
knitting needles — be confiscated.
I don't think I can stand another news story on "beefed up" airport security. Playing in airports around the
country since Sept. 11 are fabulous stage productions — part mystery, part thriller, part
action — but mostly comedy. The airlines (who, unbeknownst to many are the ones responsible
for airport security) know it's necessary to create the illusion of greater safety. So they put on fabulous
shows consisting of a wide variety of scenes — from invasive but ineffective and unnecessary body
searches to the dramatic discarding of deadly nail files.
PC shield for
terrorists: Most air travelers regard "airport security" as a bad joke. It is worse.
It is an insult. The refusal to focus on the group to which Muslim terrorists are known to belong treats
native-born citizens as the enemy and ensures the lack of security. Pointless searches of grandmothers,
young children, U.S. representatives, presidential appointees, pilots and Marine generals divert resources from
security and send the message that the government has no idea whatsoever who terrorists might be.
Does the Punishment Fit the Crime?
As the majority of the items banned from commercial aviation by the TSA are generally considered incapable of causing the
serious harm we are trying to prevent aboard airliners, we need to re-think the justification for imposing burdensome
fines on passengers who almost certainly took their scissors or miniature Swiss Army knife to the screening
station without any intention of violating the law.
Mineta Strikes Again:
Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta has made another controversial decision that seems to place politics
and political correctness above national security. Mineta, President Bush's only Democrat in the Cabinet
and a holdover from the Clinton administration, has steadfastly opposed ethnic profiling as a tool in airport
security screening. He has described it as "surrendering to actions of hate and discrimination."
So grandmothers and nuns get frisked, while young Arab males sail through security.
EPIC Questions Secrecy of TSA
Privacy Advisory Group. In a letter to the Transportation Security Administration's
privacy officer, EPIC has asked why the Secure Flight
Privacy/IT Working Group is not being operated in accordance with federal law intended to ensure
transparency of government advisory committees.
Blow to the TSA's Stewardship: With another example of poor timing, and even
worse judgment, the Transportation Security Administration has announced that, effective
this month [April 2005], its partial ban on cigarette lighters, which allowed passengers
to carry lighters using absorbed fuel inside airline cabins, will now be extended to include
all cigarette lighters. Be warned: Dad's Zippo, which survived World War II, will be
confiscated if you attempt to carry it on your person or in your checked bags — and you
may be fined if you protest the loss of this heirloom too loudly at a screening station.
Rhetorical question: In
such a case, when an old Zippo lighter is confiscated from an airline passenger, who utlimately
takes possession of it?
TSA Finds Data On Air Passengers Lacked
Protection. A new government report says officials in the Department of Homeland Security didn't
do enough to keep airline-passenger data secure when using it to test a traveler-screening program. DHS's
Inspector General says the Transportation Security Administration gathered 12 million passenger records
from February 2002 to June 2003 and used most of them to test the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening
System, or CAPPS 2, which was designed to check passenger names against government watch lists.
Passengers weren't told their information was being used for testing. TSA officials shelved CAPPS 2
last year amid complaints it was an invasion of passenger privacy.
Suspicious airline incidents
will head straight to TSA. To ensure it has a bird's eye view of every potential
problem, the Transportation Security Administration is now requiring all airlines and airports
to report immediately any potential security threats. The move is controversial: It
is praised by security experts as a key step in ensuring another 9/11 does not happen, while
airlines see a bureaucratic nuisance in the requirement to rapidly report incidents that may
This is an analysis of security risks at airports, written in November, 2000. Security Up in the Air.
Airport personnel are not well supervised. The poor control of ramp employees in particular creates an
enormous breach in security. While it is required that passengers and flight crews walk through metal
detectors before accessing gates and other restricted areas of the airport, the same cannot be said of other
airline employees. At some airports, employees working the ramp side of the facility access their time
clocks and locker areas through back gates or entrances under the terminal, and if there is a security station
at these entrances, the employee's identification card is all that is needed for entry. In some instances,
doors are locked and entry is granted by punching in a code number provided to employees. Such a system
allows multiple exits and entries throughout the day and also allows employees to bring in uninspected parcels.
TSA widens test of biometric IDs. The U.S.
government is spending $25 million this fiscal year to road test a universal secure identity card loaded
with biometric and personal data and tied to government "watch lists." Though the program is aimed at
simplifying the security checks that airport personnel and other transportation workers must go through, privacy
experts are warning of unintended consequences.
Imperial Transportation Bureaucrat Says Yes to
Lavish Offices, No to Armed Pilots. Undersecretary John Magaw, the chief of the new Transportation
Security Administration, has been very busy lately. He just spent $410,000 of your tax dollars installing
lavish fixtures in his new office suite at the Transportation department headquarters. Of course this is
nothing new in Washington. Self-indulgent bureaucrats routinely get away with wasteful extravagance.
It's rare, however, when they are caught red handed, and it's important to expose such behavior whenever possible.
Taxpayers deserve better and should demand his resignation.
Orders Air Passenger Data for Test. Even though the move was expected, civil
libertarians are protesting a directive by the government ordering airlines to turn over
personal information on their customers that can include credit card numbers and addresses
and even indicate a traveler's religion.
Trusted Traveler Program: If you fly
out of Logan Airport and don't want to take off your shoes for the security screeners and get your bags opened
up, pay attention. The U.S. government is testing its "Trusted Traveler" program, and Logan is the fourth
test airport. Currently only American Airlines frequent fliers are eligible, but if all goes well the
program will be opened up to more people and more airports.
Airline baggage limbo:
Two years after the TSA took charge of safety in the skies — including luggage inspections —
critics point to increased thefts and misplaced belongings and a backlog of tens of thousands of claims against the
agency. At least 15,000 claims remain in limbo pending a dispute between the federal agency and the airlines
as to who should pay for the missing goods, TSA officials say. Airline industry officials say the number is
closer to 27,000 claims, of which only "a couple of hundred" have been settled.
Don't Pay for an Airline Ticket with
Cash. Willie Jones paid cash for a ticket to Houston, where he planned to purchase plants
and shrubbery for his business. But by paying in cash, Jones immediately aroused suspicions that he was
a drug dealer. Carrying large amounts of cash and being an African-American apparently fits the DEA's
profile of such a criminal.
Privacy group sues TSA, Justice over airline
passenger data. A public interest organization has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the
Transportation Security Administration and the Justice Department, seeking the immediate release of information
about government efforts to collect airline passenger data since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Thank you for choosing United, Mr.
bin Laden. Last week, 9-11 commissioner John Lehman revealed that "it was the policy
(before 9-11) and I believe remains the policy today to fine airlines if they have more than two young
Arab males in secondary questioning because that's discriminatory." Hmmm… Is 19 more than two?
I Fit the Profile: The label my friendly
hometown airline had affixed to my bags had unexpectedly made me a marked man, someone selected for some unknown
special treatment. The routine was broken; the power had shifted; the violation had begun. I suddenly
felt as if in the grip of a giant vise, a terrible feeling I had last experienced as a teen-ager before fleeing
Flying on Someone Else's
Airplane Ticket: The photo-ID requirement on airplanes was established
in 1996 by a still-secret FAA order. It was a reaction to TWA Flight 800, which
exploded shortly after takeoff, killing all 230 on board. This was [officially] an
accident — after 18 months the FBI concluded that there was no evidence of a bomb
or missile — but the ID requirement was established anyway. The idea is that
checking IDs increases security by making sure that the person flying is the
person who bought the ticket.
TSA-Approved Locks: Since 9/11,
airport security has started opening checked luggage more. If they find a locked suitcase, they break the
lock. But some travelers lock their suitcases, as they don't want the bags either accidentally opening up
in transit or being opened up by some baggage handler looking for something to filch. In an attempt to
satisfy both of these requirements, there's now a key escrow lock. You lock and unlock your suitcase
normally, but there's a special TSA key that allows airport security to unlock it, too.
Clearing the Way for Real Airport Security:
The Transportation Safety Administration has erected a giant smokescreen designed to give the illusion of
security — while deliberately obstructing the measures really required to stop terrorists.
TSA Takeover Complete, But Is
Flying Safer? In spite of the fact that there are more than 44,000 new passenger screeners
and 158 federal security directors serving the country's 429 commercial airports, not all security
experts agree that the federal presence means flying is safer.
Same story: TSA
Takeover Complete, But Flying Not Necessarily Safer: Kelly
McCann, who trains bodyguards, government agents and military special forces,
said screeners must know how to ask specific questions designed to root out passengers
with unwelcome intentions. "They've been well-trained on the machines. They've
been trained to be courteous. They've been trained to more properly handle the traveling
public," McCann noted. "But, I've been traveling recently and I haven't seen any
situation where they ask you anything different than they used to."
we're doing is nothing more than a show. By embarking on the
fantasy that we can solve this problem strictly by screening, we're
doing nothing but wasting the taxpayers' money. It sure isn't making
the traveling public any safer."
TSA May Order Airlines to Share Data.
Delta Airlines had originally agreed to participate in the program but withdrew following a firestorm of
criticism over passenger privacy violations.
Passenger Profiling Violates Rights, Doesn't Improve
Safety. Because even some of the most critical government and commercial databases contain faulty
data, authorities who rely on systems like CAPPS II run the risk of misidentifying individuals and
"tagging" them as security risks, even forbidding passengers to board planes. Once available, travel authorities
or others may use this sensitive data for purposes other than identifying potential threats to passengers aboard
EPIC's web page about Passenger
Profiling. CAPPS-II originally shared many of the same elements of the Defense Department's
"Total Information Awareness" program, which aimed at profiling innocent people. While there is an
important threshold question if any of these profiling programs will actually be effective, there is also a
vital need to engage in a public debate over the appropriateness and the privacy and security risks of such
systems. A crucial first step for the debate is greater transparency from the Transportation Security
TSA: Taxpayer-soaking agency.
The Transportation Security Administration is a fiscal black hole, and fiscal conservatives ought to be enraged.
Fiasco at TSA: Amidst concerns that the Transportation Security Administration
has pulled budgets out of thin air and wasted millions of dollars, prominent lawmakers on
Capitol Hill are now beginning to scrutinize the billions of tax dollars that
have been spent to make our nation's airports more secure.
proposes database to track all airline passengers: Flight information
from all airline passengers, including financial data, can be collected and analyzed
under a little-seen regulation proposed by the Transportation Security Administration
to track potential terrorists. The federal government wants to keep information
for 50 years on passengers it believes pose threats to national security, while
information on other passengers would be stored in a database for the duration of their
travel and eliminated after their return.
Testing Air Passengers Check System: The government is getting ready to
test a new risk-detection system that would check background information and assign a
threat level to everyone who buys a ticket for a commercial flight.
The No-Fly List and the Terrorist Watch List
When I started collecting information about the No-Fly List, the number of people on the list
was believed to be less than 20,000. In the most recent articles, the number is estimated
at over 80,000. Nobody [who will talk about it] knows for sure how people get on the
list, just as nobody knows why certain people are frequently audited by the IRS; however, in
the case of the IRS, there is
abundant evidence that
many IRS audits are politically motivated. Maybe that is the case here as well.
sit-in. The Democrats are chanting their silly meme, "No fly no buy." The idea is that if you are on the
terrorism no fly list, you should not be able to buy a gun. The terrorism list started in 2003 as a data base to help
identify potential terrorists, not to keep people off of airplanes. But it evolved. Today, for reasons never
stated, a nameless, faceless bureaucrat can put anyone on the no fly list and it is almost impossible to get off. If
someone put on the list has resources, they can try to sue, but often when the case gets to court and the plaintiff demands
to know why they are on the list, the government invokes the "State secrets" privilege. That privilege is invoked when
there is allegedly classified information in a case and is generally used to deny access to that information.
to ban gun sales by those on no-fly list. Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy proposed Thursday [12/10/2015] to use an
executive order to ban gun sales to those on federal no-fly watch lists. The Democratic governor said that his order would make Connecticut
the first state to do so and that state officials are working with the federal government to get access to the lists. "If you cannot fly
due to being on a government watch list, you should not be able to purchase a firearm while on that watch list as well," Malloy told reporters
at the Capitol.
President. The president also insists that the government in reaction to the San Bernardino terrorist attacks
must now rush to make it illegal for anyone on the no-fly lists to buy guns. Is there any scientific evidence that
such a move would have much effect in preventing or abating terrorism? Or is such a call based on folklore and
ideologically driven superstition?
No-Fly-List Gun Ban Should Be Permanently Grounded. President Obama wants to ban anyone on the government's "no
fly" list from buying a gun, asking "what could possibly be the argument for allowing" such gun purchases. In fact, there are
many. There are about 47,000 names on the "no fly" list, 800 of whom are Americans, although nobody knows the exact number
since the list is kept secret. Those on the no-fly list can be blocked from flying into, out of or over U.S. airspace.
This isn't a list of terror suspects, it's a "predictive assessment" of those the government thinks could pose a threat to Americans.
But the government's ability to make such predictions accurately has proved incredibly unreliable. Over the years, the no-fly list
has swept up Marine veterans, air marshals, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Rep. John Lewis, CNN reporter Drew Griffin, a nun and an 18-month-old
child. Not on the no-fly list: The San Bernardino terrorists.
Obama's Top Speech Lies, One By One. Lie #2:
"Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist
suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon? This is a matter of national security." Suspects on the list are just that, suspects, meaning there
have been no charges or convictions lodged against them. Furthermore, National Review contributor John R. Lott Jr. pointed out, "While some
people on 'no-fly' lists are there because they are suspected of terrorist activity, you can also get added because you are a suspect in a criminal
case, made controversial statements or tweets unrelated to terrorism, are the victim of a clerical error, or refused to become a government informant."
An investigation by The Intercept, an online publication formed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and featuring veteran reporter Glenn Greenwald as an editor,
revealed that just the government's Terrorist Watchlist alone — separate from the No-Fly List — contains at least 280,000 men and
women with no verifiable link to a terrorist organization.
Obama's latest pathetic speech on terror. President Obama tried yet again Sunday night to convince the nation
he's serious about fighting terror, and, as usual, proved the opposite. Days after the San Bernardino attack, he finally
called it terrorism, but he's not offering anything new to combat the menace. He still won't call it Islamist terror, and
still wants to fold these attacks in with nonterror mass shootings — and fight them all with trivial tweaks to the
gun-control laws. Ban gun sales to anyone on the terrorism watch list? [Indeed,] the list didn't include the Fort
Hood shooter, the Tsarnaevs or the latest attackers. How about getting a watch list that's worth [something]?
The Man Who Can't Stop Lying. Of course, astute observers will
note that while Obama talked about the horribly-flawed "no fly" list in his address, that isn't the list that Democrat lawmakers have been pushing to use
against American citizens in recent weeks. They have instead been attempting to use a much larger and even more arbitrary database numbering nearly
one million souls, the "terror watch list." This database has even lower standards, and you can be placed upon it for merely working with someone
that said something controversial on Facebook, has a name similar to yours, who attempted to make a purchase with an expired credit card, or my own personal
story, had the temerity to write an article that Obama Administration loyalists did not like. Sadly, I'm hardly the only journalist to have
ended up on a watch list that doubles as a corrupt President's enemies list. There are nearly 300,000 people who have now ended up
on this list for having the wrong opinions, or for no credible reason at all.
No-fly list full of 'everyday Americans'. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) says a majority of the people on the federal "no-fly
list" do not belong there and therefore should not have their right to purchase firearms taken away. "These are everyday Americans
that have nothing to do with terrorism, they wind up on the no-fly list, there's no due process or any way to get your name removed
from it in a timely fashion, and now they're having their Second Amendment rights being impeded upon," Rubio said on CNN's "State of the
Union" on Sunday [12/6/2015].
Tell the Story of Our Government's Watchlisting Binge. The government is adding people to its already bloated
watchlisting system at breakneck pace, and it's still hungry for more. [...] The documents confirm what we have long
suspected: It doesn't take much to get yourself on a terrorist watchlist.
NRA Is Absolutely Right to Fear the 'Terrorism Watch List'. [Scroll down] Predictably, that "explosive
growth" has led to the entanglement of almost 300,000 people who have "no affiliation with known terrorist groups" but
who fall under "reasonable suspicion" nevertheless. This chart, from the right-wing-extremist hatesite TechDirt breaks
down the composition.
'No-Fly List Is Islamophobia' Poster Boy Arrested in Turkey as Part of ISIS Cell. A man, who just two years
ago was the poster boy for the far-Left media's attacks against the U.S. government's no-fly list for "unfairly" targeting
Muslims, finds himself and several family members sitting in a Turkish prison — arrested earlier this month near
the Turkey-Syria border as members of an ISIS cell. It's a long way from 2013 when Saadiq Long's cause was being
championed by MSNBC's Chris Hayes, Glenn Greenwald, and Mother Jones, and was being represented by the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) terror front.
Huffington Post Agreed with NRA on No-Fly List in 2014. Following the Paris terror attacks, a trickle turned to
a stream, which turned to a torrent of Democrats and Democrat surrogates attacking the NRA for continuing to oppose the
inclusion of the no-fly list in the prohibited categories for background checks in the United States. And although the
NRA has spent a decade explaining that their opposition rests on the fact that the no-fly list is imprecise, and just about
anyone could end up on it by happenstance [...] Democrats and anti-gun publications are ganging up in hopes of forcing
the gun rights giant to cower down and say uncle.
watchlist can include dead, acquitted suspects. Federal rules for adding someone to
the government's terrorist watchlist are broad enough to include people who are dead or have been
acquitted in court of terrorism charges, according to a government document that emerged on
Wednesday [7/23/2014]. A 166-page guidance for the government database that includes the "no-fly
list" and other lists declared that agents do not require "concrete facts" or "irrefutable evidence"
that someone is a terrorist. Instead, the system requires officials have a "reasonable suspicion"
that someone could be connected to terrorist activity, which can include "violent acts" that could
harm people or property and "intimidation or coercion" that affects the government or public.
judge rules U.S. no-fly list violates Constitution. The U.S. government's
no-fly list banning people accused of links to terrorism from commercial flights violates their
constitutional rights because it gives them no meaningful way to contest that decision, a federal
judge ruled on Tuesday [6/24/2014].
No-fly list used
by FBI to coerce Muslims into informing, lawsuit claims. [Naveed] Shinwari is one of four American
Muslims in a new lawsuit who accuse the FBI of placing them on the no-fly list, either to intimidate them into
becoming informants or to retaliate against them for declining. Filed on Tuesday night [4/22/2014] in the
US district court for the southern district of New York, the case accuses the US attorney general, Eric Holder,
the FBI director, James Comey, the homeland security secretary, Jeh Johnson, and two dozen FBI agents of creating
an atmosphere in which Muslims who are not accused of wrongdoing are forbidden from flying, apparently as
leverage to get them snitching on their communities. Their lawsuit seeks not only the plaintiffs'
removal from the no-fly list but also the establishment of a more robust legal mechanism to contest
placement upon it.
The terrorist watch list and the no-fly list must overlap -- and they might be identical. Chris Christie Signs 10 Gun Bills Into Law. One of the new laws will disqualify any
person on the federal terrorist watch list from obtaining firearms identification cards or permits to purchase handguns. [...] Civil liberties advocates have criticized the
watch list for its secrecy. The list is not public, nor can one petition to have his name removed from it. There were about 420,000 names on the watch list as of
2011. It has swollen to nearly 900,000 as of this year.
Washington Deserves a
Declaration of Incompetence. According to a House Judiciary Committee statement, the Justice Department's inspector general "found
that the number of known or suspected terrorists admitted to the Witness Security Program is unknown, that DOJ has lost track of two suspected
terrorists in the program, and that critical national security information is not being shared with other agencies," including the FBI. Such
confirmed or assumed terrorists previously on the federal No Fly List did not have their new names added to the list. Thus, "several known or
suspected terrorists have been able to board commercial airplanes in the United States."
rebuffs feds' secret arguments on no-fly list. A federal judge in California has rejected the Obama administration's effort
to use secret arguments and evidence to defeat a lawsuit relating to the so-called no-fly list designed to keep suspected terrorists off of
Americans on no-fly list
allowed to learn to fly. U.S. citizens who are on the government's list of people banned from flying because
they're considered terror threats are not prevented from learning how to fly in schools around the country, according to
18-month-old child lands on "no fly" list. A couple and their 18-month-old child
were pulled off a JetBlue flight in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesday night [5/8/2012] by an airline employee, who told them the Transportation Security Agency wanted
a word with them. It turned out that the little girl had allegedly popped up on a no-fly list. [...] If it's any consolation to Riyanna's dad, lots of
people are treated as circus acts by the TSA, and thus far it seems like the majority of them haven't been of Middle Eastern extraction. After
half an hour, the couple was allowed to reboard the plane, although no apology or explanation for little Riyanna's brief tenure as a designated terror
threat was offered.
Schumer: Create 'Do Not Ride' list for railways. Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for a "Do Not
Ride" list for Amtrak following reports that terrorist Osama bin Laden was plotting attacks on U.S. railways
before his death. The list would be similar to the "Do Not Fly" registry that is checked before passengers
board flights at airports. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that it's a lot easier for would-be terrorists to get on
trains that it has been for them to board airplanes.
The Editor says...
I'm sure Osama bin Laden wanted to do all kinds of things. But we should not constrict our society
to protect ourselves from suicide bombers on trains, because if they're not on the train, they could be on a
bus, or in a supermarket or taxi.
Officer Puts Wife on the No-Fly List. According to the Daily Mail Online, an immigration
officer who worked for the UK Border Agency managed to get his wife out of his hair for three years by
putting her name on the no-fly list while she was visiting the in-laws overseas. Officials confirmed
on January 30 that the man had confessed to adding his wife's name to the list after she left for Pakistan,
with the result that she was not allowed to get on a plane to come home. Airline and immigration
authorities refused to explain to her why she was not being allowed to travel, although I imagine she put
two and two together after her immigration-officer husband stopped answering his phone.
Radical Proposal for Airline Security. Americans have a constitutionally protected right,
recognized by the Supreme Court, to travel freely. They also have the right not to be subject to
unreasonable searches and other government intrusions. But in the blind pursuit of safety, we have
swallowed restrictions on travel and infringements on privacy we would never tolerate elsewhere.
The no-fly list is a punishment in search of a crime. As Richard Sobel, a director of the Cyber Privacy
Project and a scholar at Northwestern University, points out, it inflicts a penalty without a trial or any
other form of due process. The TSA doesn't say what it takes to get on the list, and it doesn't
make it crystal clear how to get off.
Too Scary to Fly, Not Scary Enough to Arrest.
Ten U.S citizens and residents, three of whom are veterans, are stuck abroad or cannot fly within or out of the
United States because they are wrongly on a no-fly list, according to a federal lawsuit lodged Wednesday
[6/30/2010]. The Oregon federal court case claims the plaintiffs, many with Middle Eastern names
who have committed no legal wrongdoing, have asked the Department of Homeland Security and Transportation
Security Administration for an explanation, to no avail.
Allowed Terrorists on No-Fly List to Buy Guns. The only thing stupider than allowing a known
foreign terrorist into the United States may be allowing that terrorist to buy guns. Current U.S. law
allows this [to] happen. It also allows known terrorists on the no-fly list to buy guns. Perhaps
worse still, the U.S. government has approved background checks for watch-listed terrorists to possess explosives
in the United States.
Eric Holder takes fire over no-fly list.
Senators from both parties praised the quick arrest of the Times Square car-bomb suspect Faisal Shahzad, but
Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday also heard a lot of grumbling that Shahzad should never have been
able to board a plane bound for Dubai.
Go-Fly List for Terrorists. While grandmas and grade-schoolers and war heroes patiently pass
through a gauntlet of wands, checkpoints and screening obstacles, the nation's safety watchdogs are asleep
at the wheel. They've mentally checked out at the check-in counter. And they're in over their heads
at federal counterterrorism centers, where "watch list" means putting the names of dangerous operatives
into massive databases — then idly watching potential bombers waltz through our airports and
onto our tarmacs.
The Watch List is Short, But Is It
Useful? There are 250 Americans on the No-Fly list. That's the good news. The bad
news? There's 250 people in America who the federal government believes are too dangerous to let onto
a plane, but who aren't dangerous enough to arrest.
Changes No-Fly List Policy After Close Call With Times Square Suspect. The Transportation Security
Administration has implemented a new rule requiring airlines to check the no-fly list within two hours after
being notified of a special update, after the suspect in the Times Square bombing attempt made it through
security at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport Monday night [5/3/2010].
Man Added To No-Fly List In Air. A man from West Africa who boarded a New York-bound flight in
Senegal was added to the no-fly list while the plane was already heading over the Atlantic Ocean, according
to a passenger on the flight and two sources with knowledge of the situation.
U.S. Government to Take Over Airline
Passenger Vetting. The Department of Homeland Security will take over responsibility
for checking airline passenger names against government watch lists beginning in January, and will
require travelers for the first time to provide their full name, birth date and gender as a condition
for boarding commercial flights, U.S. officials said Wednesday [10/22/2008]. ... To bolster their
case for the new program, U.S. officials for their first time disclosed that the no-fly list includes
fewer than 2,500 individuals and the selectee list fewer than 16,000.
'No fly' foul as girl, 6, put on list. Meet America's
tiniest terrorist: 6-year-old Allison Mosher, who's landed on the nation's No Fly List alongside mad
bombers and other villainous thugs in a mind-boggling snafu that could scuttle her family's Grand Canyon
vacation, her outraged dad says.
We'll Have to Check, Sir.
Pity the innocent air traveler whose name repeatedly registers as a match on the government's mammoth
terrorist watch list. One major airline registers 9,000 false hits every day, according to Michael
Chertoff, the secretary of homeland security. These travelers and thousands more must routinely step
aside and provide firmer proof of identity. The terrorist watch list keeps growing, exceeding 900,000
and adding up to 20,000 a month, by some estimates.
The TSA's useless
photo ID rules: The no-fly list -- a list of people so dangerous they are not allowed to fly
yet so innocent we can't arrest them -- and the less dangerous "watch list" contain a combined 1 million
names representing the identities and aliases of an estimated 400,000 people. There aren't that many
terrorists out there; if there were, we would be feeling their effects. Almost all of the people
stopped by the no-fly list are false positives.
Air marshals' names tagged on 'no-fly' list.
Some federal air marshals have been denied entry to flights they are assigned to protect when their names matched
those on the terrorist no-fly list, and the agency says it's now taking steps to make sure their agents are
allowed to board in the future.
still on U.S. terrorist lists. Nelson Mandela, South Africa's Nobel Prize-winning symbol of hope
for leading the fight against apartheid, is reported still on U.S. terrorist watch lists. His inclusion means
Mandela must have special permission to enter the United States, USA Today said Thursday [5/1/2008].
Update: U.S. Congress removes Mandela
from terrorist list. Former South African President Nelson Mandela received a gift for his 90th
birthday as U.S. Congress finally approved the removal of his name from the country's terrorist list, local
media reported on Friday [6/27/2008].
Unlikely Terrorists On No Fly
List. Anyone who has passed through an airport in the last five years and has been pulled aside
for extra screening knows that the government and the airlines keep a list of people they consider to be
security threats. Every time you check in at the ticket counter your name is run through a computer
to make sure you are not on something called the "No Fly List."
The No-Fly List. For months,
the TSA, a federal agency established a year ago to protect the nation's transportation system from terrorism,
denied it had a blacklist of people to be singled out by security staff for special inspection and questioning.
But in mid-November, in an interview with this reporter, spokesman David Steigman acknowledged that the
government has "a list of about 1,000 people" who are deemed "threats to aviation" and not allowed on
airplanes under any circumstances.
I Got Trapped in the Secret 'No Fly List'.
On August 19th , at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Senator Edward Kennedy brought to public attention,
the existence of this notorious 'no-fly list.' It has been reported in the news media that more than 350
Americans have suffered harassment by the execution of this 'no-fly list.'
"No Fly" List
Revelations: The FOIA lawsuit, brought by two San Francisco peace activists and the ACLU of Northern
California, is now history. But an interesting history it is. It's a tale of the federal government's
response to the events of September 11th — its often unorganized efforts to coordinate the screening
of airline passengers using what became known as the "no fly" list. After they were stopped at the San
Francisco airport and told that their names were on the government's "no fly" list, Plaintiffs Janet Adams and
Rebecca Gordon sued to obtain access to documents maintained by the FBI and the TSA about themselves —
and about the "no fly" list in general. Even in the face of this lawsuit, the TSA and FBI was willing to
release few documents to the public.
Conversation with Kip Hawley,
TSA Administrator, Part 3. Let's talk about ID checks. I've called the no-fly list a list of
people so dangerous they cannot be allowed to fly under any circumstance, yet so innocent we can't arrest them
even under the Patriot Act. Except that's not even true; anyone, no matter how dangerous they are, can fly
without an ID ?or by using someone else's boarding pass. And the list itself is filled with people who
shouldn't be on it — dead people, people in jail, and so on — and primarily catches
innocents with similar names. Why are you bothering?
Faulty 'No-Fly' System Detailed.
The federal government's "no-fly" list had 16 names on it on Sept. 11, 2001. Today, it has more
than 20,000. The list, which identifies suspected terrorists seeking to board commercial airplanes,
expanded rapidly even though the government knew that travelers were being mistakenly flagged, according to
federal records. The records detail how government officials expressed little interest in tracking or
resolving cases in which passenger names were confused with the growing number of names on the list.
Show Confusion as Government Watch List Grew Quickly. More than 300 pages of internal
documents, turned over by the Justice Department on Friday as part of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil
Liberties Union, provide a rare glimpse inside the workings of the government's so-called no-fly list.
Federal officials have maintained tight secrecy over the list, saying little publicly about how it is developed,
how many people are on it or how it is put into practice, even as prominent people like Senator Edward M.
Kennedy have been mistakenly blocked from boarding planes.
U.S. Watch Lists Sow Frustration
and Fear. For years, Elizabeth Kushigian never had a problem flying back-and-forth to Costa Rica,
where she runs a local micro-lending nonprofit. But in 2004, she suddenly found it impossible to re-enter
the United States without being ordered into a special isolation room at Miami International Airport. There,
she'd wait for extra scrutiny. "I was in the line where you come in and stamp your passport, and each time
they would scan the passport and look at (the) screen and stiffen," Kushigian says.
American Passengers. Replying to questions from Salon magazine, David Steigman, a spokesman for
the new Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said, "We have a list of about 1,000 people." The
agency was created a year ago by the U.S. Congress to handle transportation safety during the war on terror.
"This list is composed of names that are provided to us by various government organizations like the FBI, CIA
and INS — We don't ask how they decide who to list. Each agency decides on its own who is a
'threat to aviation.'"
Transfer of terrorist
no-fly list 'earmarked'? To secure congressional funding for a pet project, Rep. John Murtha,
D-Pa., made a surprising claim: The little-known National Drug Intelligence Center was about to take
charge of the "vitally important" terrorist no-fly list. Murtha's news, in a letter he sent to the House
Intelligence Committee last month, came as a surprise to the nation's intelligence community.
Checked for Accuracy, Cut. The Bush administration is checking the accuracy of a
watch list of suspected terrorists banned from traveling on airliners in the U.S. and will probably
cut the list in half, the head of the Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday
[1/17/2007]. … Cutting the list in half is "nice but not all that meaningful," said Barry
Steinhardt, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. He noted that various
estimates of the list's size, which is classified, have ranged from 50,000 to 350,000 names.
Pushing National IDs: As [Justin] Rood points out,
this extensive list contains numerous mistakes. "U.S. lawmakers and their spouses have been detained
because their names were on the watch list," Rood observed. "Reporters who have reviewed versions of the
list found it included the names of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, at the time he was alive but in
custody in Iraq; imprisoned al Qaeda plotter Zacarias Moussaoui; and 14 of the 19 Sept. 11, 2001
hijackers, all of whom perished in the attacks."
"No-Fly" List: How many people have been a "false positive" on the TSA's no fly list
and then inconvenienced? The purpose of the government's "no-fly" list is to identify people
considered too dangerous to be allowed on commercial flights. Apparently, thousands of people
have been mistakenly linked to names on terror watch lists when they crossed the border, boarded
commercial airliners or were stopped for traffic violations, a government report said
Offer Qualified Support For DHS Watch-List Redress Plan. The Department of Homeland
Security on Feb. 20 plans to launch the Traveler Redress Inquiry Program, offering travelers
faster means to correct watch-list misidentification or point of entry issues, or rectify
situations where passengers "have been unfairly or incorrectly delayed, denied boarding or
identified for additional screening at our nation's transportation hubs," DHS said.
on "No Fly" Lists. The latest figures that I have seen are that at least 80,000
Americans are now on FBI and Homeland Security's red-flagged "no fly" lists with another 325,000
on yellow-flagged "watch lists" (the latter being subject to body and luggage searches). Hundreds
more names are added every week. The criteria for being put in these lists is secret, and there
is no official procedure for getting off a list.
20,000 Put on government "no-fly"
lists. The reason [Senator Edward] Kennedy was put on the list was that a suspected terrorist
had allegedly used his name as an alias. You would think that airport security would be able
to tell the difference between a fake and real Edward Kennedy, given that Senator Kennedy has one of the
best known faces in America. He has also been taking the same flight between Boston and Washington, D.C.
for the past 42 years. But no, the computer said not to allow anyone with his name to board.
no getting off that no-fly list. Sarah Zapolsky was checking in for a flight to Italy when
she discovered that her 9-month-old son's name was on the United States' "no fly" list of suspected
terrorists. "We pointed down to the stroller, and he sat there and gurgled," Zapolsky said,
recalling the July  incident at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C. "The
desk agent started laughing … She couldn't print us out a boarding pass because he's on the no-fly
Editor's Note: In order to make that decision, the airline ticket agent would have to believe that the nine month
old baby was a terrorist and a potential threat. This could easily be used as proof of the ticket agent's
insanity. People who stubbornly follow instructions, no matter how absurd, are dangerous
individuals. They're the people who make wartime atrocities possible.
You are now on the
No-Fly List. The National Press Photographers Association has gotten numerous reports
from members who say they've been hassled by police since the Sept. 11, 2001. In early
June, about 100 photographers crowded onto Manhattan subway trains and snapped pictures of each other in
protest of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's proposed ban on photos on public transit.
Has No-Fly List Troubles. A California congresswoman said she was briefly denied access to a
United Airlines flight last week because her name appeared on a "no fly list" set up after the Sept. 11
terrorist attacks. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat who has been a critic of the no-fly list, said her
staff had booked her a one-way ticket from Boise, Idaho, to Cincinnati through Denver. But they were
prevented from printing her boarding pass online and at an airport kiosk.
Grounded along with
other fellow terrorists. When my wife's favorite aunt died last November we immediately
made plans to head for St. Louis for the funeral. We drove the 700 miles to
St. Louis. I am not allowed to fly on an airplane within the United States
because the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration
consider me a threat to the security of the United States. Yep. I'm on the
official "no-fly" list, along with some 80,000 other Americans.
on the No-Fly List. Edward Allen's reaction to being on the government's "no-fly" list should
have been the tip-off that he is no terrorist. "I don't want to be on the list. I want to fly
and see my grandma," the 4-year-old boy said, according to his mother. Sijollie Allen and her son had
trouble boarding planes last month because someone with the same name as Edward is on a government terrorist
4-year-old shows up on
government 'no-fly' list. Sijollie Allen isn't the first mother to have travel plans delayed
because of a 4-year-old son. … "Is this a joke?" she recalled telling Continental Airlines agents
Dec. 21 at Bush Intercontinental Airport. "You can tell he's not a terrorist."
Travelers gripe about no-fly
errors. What if you were denied a boarding pass right up front because a government
database thinks you're a threat to America? That's the most common gripe from nearly 100 passengers
who filed complaints with the Transportation Security Administration between November 2003 and May 2004,
according to documents obtained recently by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
the No-Fly List: The no-fly list created by U.S. authorities, which singles
out passengers who are potential terrorist threats, is the target of frequent criticism
that it's incomplete and unreliable. But that hasn't stopped it from expanding
dramatically. Aviation sources say the list has grown to more than 31,000, up
from 19,000 last September.
No-Fly List: Imagine a list of suspected terrorists so dangerous that we can't
ever let them fly, yet so innocent that we can't arrest them — even under the
draconian provisions of the Patriot Act. This is the federal government's "No Fly"
list. First circulated in the weeks after 9/11 as a counterterrorist tool, its
details are shrouded in secrecy. But because the list is filled with inaccuracies
and ambiguities, thousands of innocent, law-abiding Americans have been subjected to
lengthy interrogations and invasive searches every time they fly, and sometimes
forbidden to board airplanes. It also has been a complete failure, and has not
been responsible for a single terrorist arrest anywhere.
step to the side, sir". Several documents produced by the Transportation
Security Administration late in March  indicate that the TSA actually keeps two
main watch lists — one "no-fly" list of people "to be denied transport," and
one "selectee list" of people who need "additional screening prior to boarding," according
to an internal memo released by the agency. These lists have "expanded
almost daily" since November 2001, the memo says.
Look Who Made
the "No Fly" List: Senator Ted Kennedy — one of the most recognizable
figures in American politics — told a Senate committee hearing on
Thursday [8/19/2004] he had been blocked several times from boarding commercial
airline flights because his name was on a "no-fly" list intended to exclude
Judge Rebukes Government
Over No-Fly List. A federal judge ruled Tuesday [6/15/2004] that the government
is stonewalling attempts by the ACLU to acquire information about the government's secret
no-fly list, which bars potential terrorists from boarding commercial flights. The
FBI, TSA and other agencies have cited security concerns in not disclosing to the ACLU
how two of its clients got on the list.
to sue government over "no-fly" list. American Civil Liberties Union's
officials declined to comment in advance of their planned announcement Tuesday [4/6/2004]
that they would file a class-action lawsuit challenging the list of travelers that the
government has barred from flying because they're considered a threat.
Mr. bin Laden,
you're clear to fly. Apparently bin Laden is not on the FBI's
secret "no-fly list". According to airline-security documents obtained by Insight
magazine, the name Osama bin Laden was punched into the computer by an airline official and,
remarkably, that name was cleared at the security checkpoint all passengers must pass
through before being issued a boarding pass.
Proof of a No-Fly List: Man
Claims to Have Bomb, Is Barred from Flying. A man was barred from flying
for 24 hours after he made a comment about an explosive device in his hand-held computer
as his plane was about to take off from Salt Lake City on
Friday [01/30/2004], officials said.
watch list keeps eye on all groups: The U.S. master terror watch list, used
to stop suspected terrorists from entering the country, includes not only suspected
al Qaeda members but other suspects from a wide spectrum of organizations around
the world, a top federal law enforcement official says. [Questions arose] about
the master list and other watch lists including the TSA's "no-fly list" that were raised
last week when it was reported that FBI agents had briefly detained a harmless federal
employee who has an Irish last name.
Amtrak Antics: With the
Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) No-Fly list kicking an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 terrorists
off American aviation, those folks have to get where they're going somehow. They could drive, of
course, but there's a limit to how much carnage one can wreak with a car, even an SUV. And wreaking
carnage is what terrorists are dying to do, right? So they're probably opting for trains and
busses. Figure half are enduring Greyhound, while the other 40,000 to 50,000 are hopping Amtrak.
Infants Among Those Caught Up
in "No-Fly" Confusion. Infants have been stopped from boarding planes at airports
throughout the United States because their names are the same as, or similar to, those of
possible terrorists on the government's "no-fly list." Because of these screenings,
parents have missed flights while scrambling to have babies' passports and other documents
faxed to allow them to board.
Same story: Even
Babies Aren't Exempt From "No-Fly" List. Infants have been stopped
from boarding planes at airports throughout the United States because their names
are the same as or similar to those of possible terrorists on the government's "no-fly"
list. It sounds like a joke, but it's not funny to parents who miss flights
while scrambling to have babies' passports and other documents faxed.
According to this story,
Transportation Security Administration, which administers the list,
instructs airlines not to deny boarding to children under 12 -- or select them for extra
security checks -- even if their names match those on a list.
... So why didn't the screeners know this?
8-Year-Old Boy Held From Plane for Appearing on
No-Fly List. Bryan Moore was set to catch his first plane trip when he arrived at an airport in
Cortez, Colorado to fly home after visiting his sister, said the report. "They almost got me scheduled
in and then the lady just bowed her head and said, 'We can't get you on this plane, you're a terrorist,'" Moore
Dozens added to no-fly list. Dozens
of names have been added to the government's no-fly list after an ongoing review of the terrorist watch-list system
in the wake of a 23-year-old Nigerian man's attempt to blow up a passenger jet on Christmas Day, White House
spokesman Bill Burton said Monday [1/4/2010].
The latest example: On
US no-fly list: An 8-yr-old called Mikey. "Meet Mikey Hicks," said Najlah Feanny Hicks,
introducing her 8-year-old son, a New Jersey Cub Scout and frequent traveler who has seldom boarded a plane
without a hassle because he shares the name of a suspicious person. "It's not a myth." Michael
Winston Hicks's mother initially sensed trouble when he was a baby and she could not get a seat for him on
their flight to Florida at an airport kiosk; airline officials explained that his name "was on the list," she
ACLU Calls Out U.S.
Over "ABSURD" Bloated Terrorist Watch List. More that 900,000 people are currently listed as suspected
terrorists on the US government's "do not fly" list, and that number will grow to beyond 1 million by summer,
says the American Civil Liberties Union. ... [The list includes] 9/11 Hijackers. While certainly these were
individuals we all wish had been watched out for, they are, in fact, dead. Yet, the names of 14 of the 19
hijackers from 9/11 were on a copy of the list obtained by 60 Minutes. More evidence that the list is
Under 10 on Terror Watch List While Abdulmutallab Was Waved Through. Eight-year-old Mikey Hicks
was first patted down at the airport at the age of two because he shares the name of someone who is "among
13,500 on the "selectee" list, which sets off a high level of security screening." And when he was just
a baby, his mother couldn't get a seat for him on a plane because his name appeared on the list.