Friday, August 3, 2018

Have You Gained or Lost Weight? Congrats, TSA Is Now Tracking You for Suspicious Activity

By James Bovard

If you fall asleep or use the bathroom during your next flight, those incriminating facts could be added to your federal dossier. Likewise, if you use your laptop or look at noisy children seated nearby with a “cold, penetrating stare,” that may be included on your permanent record. If you fidget, sweat or have “strong body odor” — BOOM! the feds are onto you.

Welcome to the latest profiling idiocy from the Transportation Security Administration. TSA’s Quiet Skies surveillance program is spurring federal air marshals to target dozens of Americans each day on the flimsiest of pretexts. The secret program, first exposed by Jana Winter in The Boston Globe, is security theater at its best.

What does it take to become a Quiet Skies target? “The criteria for surveillance appear fluid. Internal agency emails show some confusion about the program’s parameters and implementation,” The Globe noted.

Anyone who has recently traveled to Turkey can apparently be put on the list — as well as people “possibly affiliated” with someone on a terrorist watchlist (which contain more than a million names). The program is so slipshod that it has targeted at least one airline flight attendant and a federal law enforcement agent.

After a person makes the Quiet Skies list, a TSA air marshal team is placed on his next flight. Marshals receive “a file containing a photo and basic information” and carefully note whether the suspect’s “appearance was different from information provided” — such as whether he has “gained weight,” is “balding” or “graying,” has a beard or “visible tattoos” (bad news for Juggalo fans of the Insane Clown Posse). Marshals record and report any “significant derogatory information” on suspects.

TSA air marshals follow travelers targeted by this program, even writing down their license plates. Marshals must ascertain whether a “subject was abnormally aware of surroundings.” Does that include noticing the undercover G-men who are stalking them in the parking lot? No wonder the president of the Air Marshal Association, John Casaretti, considers the program unjustified.

Read the rest here.


  1. Your Adam’s apple bobs up and down,
    Your black haired head goes round and round.
    Your beady eyes are black as coal
    Your skin is naturally brown.

    I know you’re hiding something
    ‘Cause it’s my job to know.
    They hired me for my paranoia
    How dare you call me clown!

    I have some peccadillos
    like staring at your crotch.
    Or wondering if your sultry breasts
    Conceal a pint of scotch.

    And what about your buttocks,
    Are they really real?
    Or does a plastique bomb give shape,
    I’ll have to really feel.

    I’m hip to gender identity
    Somedays I’m a man.
    And when I am a woman
    It’s really not a scam.

    While ravishing your body
    In my bureaucratic way
    Just let me know which gender role
    You wish for me to play.

    So don’t you worry, darling
    Your comfort is my goal.
    It’s easy to forget that
    As my probing takes its toll.

  2. This has nothing to do with stopping "terrorists" and everything to do with acclimating normal Americans to tyranny and arbitrary authority.

    1. That actually describes the entire TSA and DHS.