The Transportation Security Administration


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?



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."

TSA 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.

The 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.

Beleaguered 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.

TSA 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.

TSA 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.

Driver 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.

TSA 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.

TSA 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.

The 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.

TSA 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.

Loathsome 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.

TSA Security 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.

'Fired' 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 administrative leave.

5 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 money go?

Airports 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 Los Angeles.

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 flights left.

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.

Lawmakers 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.

NYC 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.

Whistleblowers 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.

TSA: 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."

Disclosure: 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.

Rep. 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.

TSA 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.

3 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.

Steve 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.

Layers 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'.

Wedding favors cause evacuation at Denver airport.  TSA said the bride and groom's names both start with a "T," so their wedding souvenirs were labeled TNT.

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?

TSA 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.

TSA 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.

TSA 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."

GOP 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.

TSA 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.

TSA 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?

GOP 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.

TSA 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.

Investigation: 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."

TSA 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 Security headquarters.

SGUgY2FuJ3QgYmUgZmlyZWQgYmVjYXVzZSBoZSdzIGJsYWNrLg==  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.

TSA 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.

TSA Failing '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.

Report: 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.

Former TSA officer pleads guilty to faking cancer to get paid time off.  Federal prosecutors said Monday that 42-year-old Marc Bess of Atlanta pleaded guilty to theft of government funds and will be sentenced July 24.

DHS 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].

Union 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.

Watchdog 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].

TSA 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.

Let's 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.

TSA 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?

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.

TSA 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.

How 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.

DHS 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].

TSA 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."

TSA 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.

TSA fee 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.

Has 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.

TSA '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.

TSA 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.

Outgoing 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.

Have 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 appropriate staff.

Noted Author Reading The Jewish Press Detained at JFK.  Had the situation been reversed, had a Muslim woman been stopped and her luggage searched simply because she was reading Islamic materials, it would be front page news and the subject of civil rights rallies.

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.

'We 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.

Abolish the 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.

Congress 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.

Dozens 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.

Expanding 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."

T.S.A. 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 Marshalls.

TSA 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.

TSA 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.

TSA Sealed $50-Million Sequester-Eve Deal to Buy New Uniforms.  The impending sequester did not prevent the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from acting in late February to seal a $50-million deal to purchase new uniforms for its agents — uniforms that will be partly manufactured in Mexico.

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.

Three Reasons to Kill the Dept. of Homeland Security:  It's unnecessary, ineffective, and expensive.  And that's just for starters.

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."

Activist Forced to Show Papers to DHS or be Detained for 72 Hrs.  Alex talks with Derrick Broze, a founding member of The Houston Free Thinkers.  Broze has covered TSA agents working in the Metro rail is Houston.  [Video clip].

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.

Even Big Government Sacramento Is Kicking the TSA Out of Town.  Sacramento International Airport is kicking the TSA agents out and replacing them with private contractors.  Good riddance!

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.

Napolitano 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].

TSA goons make Barney Fife look like Joe Friday.
TSA Agents at Louisville Airport Steal Deaf Man's Candy, Call Him "F---ing Deafie".  A group of students leaving the annual conference of the National Association of the Deaf in Louisville had a rather awful experience courtesy of the Transportation Security Administration in that city's airport.  One of the travelers wrote about it on his blog.

TSA 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.

JFK 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?

TSA Allowing Employers To Hire Workers Without Completing Background Checks.  Employers at some U.S. airports are being allowed to hire workers without completing all background security checks because of a backlog in the screening process, federal officials said.

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?

TSA screeners allegedly let drug couriers through LAX for cash.  Authorities filed trafficking and bribery charges against four current and former TSA screeners, alleging they received cash bribes in exchange for turning a blind eye on drugs packed in suitcases.

TSA 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!

Sheila 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.

TSA expands power, VIPR Squads Roam Florida Train Stations.  Squads of TSA agents conducted random searches and patrols at a train station in West Palm Beach, Florida yesterday [4/21/2011] in yet another example of the expansion of TSA Tyranny beyond the nation's airports.

TSA screener at JFK 'hurled hot coffee at American Airlines pilot who told her to stop swearing'.  An airport security worker was arrested after throwing a cup of hot coffee over a pilot who told her to stop swearing.  Transportation Security Administrator (TSA) Lateisha El, 30, was in the middle of a conversation with work colleagues at a JFK Airport terminal when she was interrupted by the American Airlines pilot.

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 travelers rudely.

TSA 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.

TSA officials 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.

Major 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.

The 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 seriously, too.

TSA's intrusions 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 International Airport.

Steal $40K, Get 6 Months in Jail — If You're a TSA Worker.  Steal $40,000 from a bank, and you'll spend a decade or two in prison.  Steal $40,000 from an airplane passenger's luggage and you'll get six months — if you're a Transportation Security Administration employee, that is.

Passengers 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.

TSA 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 Service Organizations.

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.

For 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.

Frightening 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.

Update:
TSA 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."

House 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 Warns Travelers Not To Smuggle Carry-On Items In Christmas Gift Wrap.  Security screeners at LAX will apparently have zero tolerance for holiday cheer this Christmas.  KNX 1070's Bob Brill reports authorities on Friday are on the lookout for people who try to smuggle illegal items disguised as holiday gifts onto airplanes.

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.

VIPR 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.

Surprise! 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.

Documents 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.

Did 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.

43 Percent of Americans Have a Negative View of the TSA.  A recent Reason-Rupe survey asked respondents to use their own words to describe their perception of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).  Responses ranged from very negative to very positive.

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.

TSA: 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.

Two House 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.

TSA 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.

Newark 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.

Ex-Newark 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 Airport.

House 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.

Terrorists 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.

After Security Lapses at Newark Airport, TSA Official in Charge Promoted to HQ Post.  The Transportation Security Administration appointed as a senior adviser at its D.C. headquarters an official who requested reassignment after quitting as federal security director of Newark Liberty International Airport, following a string of security lapses.

Ready for Unionized Airport Security?  As payback for union support, the Obama administration greases the wheels for the largest federal organizing effort in 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.

Tom 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.

TSA fires screener after airport garage fracas.  The TSA fired an airport screener following his arrest for battery after allegedly attacking a gift shop employee in the parking garage at Indianapolis International Airport.

Senate Votes to Make Misuse of TSA Scanner Images a Felony.  When you walk through one of those new hi-tech full body scanners at TSA checkpoints at the airport, screeners can still see your private parts, but the Senate wants to make sure no one else does.

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.

Laboring through 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?

Unionizing 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.

TSA 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.

Austin, 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.

Labor 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.

Will 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.

More about Friday night document dumps.
More about Unionized government workers.


Unions 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.

Government 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 unhindered.

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 2010.

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.

TSA 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.

Bob Barr 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.

Whistleblower Pilot 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'.

TSA 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.

Another 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.

TSA New 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.

Holiday Travel Fun With The TSA.  Please consider the following twenty-five fun activities to partake of at security checkpoints when you travel.

Eight 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.

TSA Worker Accused Of Assault Had Prior Record.  [WSB-TV] has learned a TSA security worker accused of abducting and sexually assaulting a woman had previously been convicted of misdemeanor harassment and stalking.

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 any safer.

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.

TSA has met the enemy — and they are us.  How did an agency created to protect the public become the target of so much public scorn?

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.

Schneier: 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 airport.

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.

TSA Head John Pistole: If Passengers Don't Undergo Screening, 'They Don't Have a Right' to Fly.  Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole today [11/22/2010] defended controversial new security procedures and argued that if passengers want to get on a plane, they have to undergo new screening procedures.

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.

No 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.

Full 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.

TSA employees 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.

The TSA will get better when they unionize, right?  Lost in all the hoopla about TSA's turn-your-head-and-cough security checks and so-called new "porno-scanners" is the news that TSA is about to unionize.

TSA 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.

Body Scanners:  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."

Three days later...
TSA withdraws 'controversial opinion' restriction on web use.  A new policy blocking access of Transportation Security Administration employees from websites with "controversial opinion" content has been withdrawn, a spokesman tells The [Washington] Examiner.

TSA 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 collective bargaining.

U.S. report shows 16 people linked to terror plots passed undetected through airport security.  At least 16 people later linked to terror plots passed through U.S. airports undetected by federal officials who were on duty to spot suspicious behavior, according to a government report.

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 safer now.

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 themselves.

It 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.

Stupid TSA prank should remind everyone:  good thing they're not unionized.  You may have read about the Philadelphia TSA worker who scared ... an unsuspecting 22-year-old passenger by planting a bag of white powder in her carry-on bag.  Luckily, he's already been fired.  But if TSA was unionized...

Another 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.

99-year-old Granny 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 driver's licence.

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.

Security 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.

Transportation 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.

Transportation 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.

TSA nominee 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.

Massive TSA 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.

TSA 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.

Airport 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.

1,600 are 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 called WebTrends.

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 public's opinion.

Commuter Flights Grounded Thanks To Bumbling TSA Inspector.  Total Air Temperature (TAT) probes on nine American Eagle regional jets were damaged because "an overzealous TSA employee attempted to gain access to the parked aircraft" by using the TAT probes has would-be handholds.

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 coach passengers.

America's 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.

The 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.

The 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 [2007].

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 terrorists.

ABC:  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?

Congress 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 hacked into.

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.

Airport 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 understand.

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.

TSA 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 abolish TSA?

TSA Kept an Illegal Secret Database Of Air Passengers.  Documents show a federal agency has done exactly what Congress told it not to do — and what it said it wouldn't do.

Singing CAIR's 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.

TSA 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.

TSA supports 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.

Welcome 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 so.

The Transportation Security Administration Reorganization Act of 2005.  For many of the reasons set forth in the proposed law's mission statement, and other reasons not stated, the bill concludes that neither "the needs of the traveling public" nor those of security have been met.

 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.

Airport insecurity:  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.

Another 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.

TSA Lied About Protecting Passenger Data.  This is major stuff.  It shows that the TSA lied to the public about its use of personal data again and again and again.

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 be insignificant.

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.

TSA 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 Communist Hungary.

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."


"What 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."
-- Captain Tracy Price, Chairman  
Airline Pilot's Security Alliance 1 2 


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 airplanes.

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 Administration (TSA).

TSA: Taxpayer-soaking agency.  The Transportation Security Administration is a fiscal black hole, and fiscal conservatives ought to be enraged.

Fiscal 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.

TSA 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.

Feds 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.

House Democrats' 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.

Connecticut 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.

So Josh Earnest, how many mass shooters have been on 'no-fly' list you're so obsessed with?  The "solution" Dems are obsessing over wouldn't have stopped a single mass shooting, but who cares — they've got an NRA to demonize!

Our Superstitious 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?

Obama's 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.

President 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.

Rubio: 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].

Numbers 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.

Techdirt watchlist chart
The 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.


MSNBC's '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.

Flashback: 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.

Changes planned on how travelers can protest placement on no-fly list.  The decision comes after a federal judge's ruling that there was no meaningful way to challenge the designation, a situation deemed unconstitutional.

Terror 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.

Federal 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.

American Airlines: Attendant trainee on no-fly list gets the boot.  American Airlines says one of its flight attendant trainees was found on the Transportation Security Administration's "no-fly" list after he was accused of making several bomb threats to a competing airline.

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."

Judge 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 airline flights.

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 government regulation.

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.

Sen. 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.

Immigration 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.

A 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.

U.S. 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.

The 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.

TSA 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].

Sources:  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.

Mandela 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 [2004], 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.

Papers 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.

Blacklist Grounds 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.

No-Fly List 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."

Trimming the "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 Friday.

Why the System, Though More Efficient, Still Does Not Accord Travelers Sufficient Due Process:  For those who have been wrongfully detained or delayed at the airport, or when traveling to Canada or Mexico, relief may be in sight.  Beginning February 20, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will launch the new DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP).

Associations 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.

80,000+ red-flagged 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.

Men named David Nelson are being searched at airports across U.S..  Throughout Southern California and across the country, men named David Nelson report they have been harassed, questioned by FBI agents, pulled off airplanes, searched and then searched again when attempting air travel.

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.

There's 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 [2005] 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 list."

 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.

Tens of thousands mistakenly matched to terrorist watch lists.  About 30,000 airline passengers have discovered since last November that their names were mistakenly matched with those appearing on federal watch lists, a transportation security official said Tuesday [12/6/2005].

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.

Congresswoman 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.

More 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 watch list.

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.

Tens of thousands mistakenly put on terrorist watch lists.  Nearly 30,000 airline passengers discovered in the past year that they were mistakenly placed on federal "terrorist" watch lists, a transportation security official said Tuesday [12/6/2005].

Expanding 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.

The 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.

"Please step to the side, sir".  Several documents produced by the Transportation Security Administration late in March [2003] 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.

No-fly lists easily circumvented, passengers say.  The whole notion that keeping a list of names contributes to safety is kind of questionable, especially when terrorists use aliases all the time.

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 potential terrorists.

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.

ACLU 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.

ACLU Seeks Government Data on Secret "No-Fly" List:  The ACLU is asking a federal judge to demand that the TSA, FBI or the Justice Department disclose who is on the list, how they got on it and how they can get off it.

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.

U.S. terror 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.

 Editor's Note:   According to this story,
The 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 said.

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 recalled.

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 poorly maintained...

Boy 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.

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Updated July 25, 2017.

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