April 06, 2015
Your Tax Dollars at Work

More on the TSA’s “Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques” which bemused me at the airport a little while ago. The picture shows the sweaty palm check. I am proud to be an American. Aren’t you?

The $900 million (!) program, Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT, employs behavior detection officers trained to identify passengers who exhibit behaviors that TSA believes could be linked to would-be terrorists. But in one five-week period at a major international airport in the United States in 2007, the year the program started, only about 4 percent of the passengers who were referred to secondary screening or law enforcement by behavior detection officers were arrested, and nearly 90 percent of those arrests were for being in the country illegally, according to a TSA document obtained by The Intercept

One senior homeland security official said the behavior checklist could work, but TSA’s behavior detection officers have not been properly trained to use it. “My guess is most of them wouldn’t have stopped bin Laden if he walked through their lane,” the official said.

Nothing in the SPOT records suggests that any of those arrested were associated with terrorist activity.


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at April 06, 2015 01:24 PM
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