TSA Maintaining A Watch List” of Americans who “Violate” Its Policies

041212tsa_checkSteve Watson

The TSA has quietly announced that it is constructing a watch list of individuals that it deems to be violators of it’s security rules. The agency, under the Department of Homeland Security, notes:

“As part of the effort to identify individuals that are low risk, TSA also is creating and maintaining a watch list of individuals who are disqualified from eligibility from TSA Pre[check]TM, for some period of time or permanently, because they have been involved in violations of security regulations of sufficient severity or frequency.”

The announcement came in the November 19 edition of The Federal Register, a daily journal issued by the federal government.

The PreCheck program, introduced earlier this year, encourages frequent fliers to allow TSA access to a host of details and personal information, the idea being that if you qualify, you are spared some of the security theater hell that the rest of the cattle are forced to endure when passing through airport checkpoints.

The announcement continues:

“Disqualifying violations of aviation security regulations may involve violations at the airport or on board aircraft, such as a loaded firearm that is discovered in carry-on baggage at the checkpoint, or a threat to use a destructive device against a transportation conveyance, facilities, or personnel. The TSA Pre[check]TM Disqualification List will be generated by TSA’s Performance and Results Information System (PARIS).”

The ultimate irony behind this revelation is the fact that some attempting to sign up to avoid TSA interrogation every time they fly, could ultimately end up on a government watch list and be subjected to even more nightmare police state treatment than if they had not bothered in the first place.

Indeed, it seems that TSA’s PreCheck is nothing more than a smokescreen to get people to officially submit to the security theater checkpoints. The agency admits that those signed up to PreCheck will still be “randomly” subjected to the same treatment as everyone else. Accounts from dissatisfied PreCheck “clients” have already confirmedthat there is no such thing as “hassle-free” boarding.

The recent revelation that anyone can print out a boarding-pass and alter one number on it to make it appear they are enrolled in PreCheck goes to show that the program is just another layer of security theater. In addition, there have been accountsof travelers being mistakenly waved through the PreCheck lines, even though they have NEVER registered for the program.

PreCheck is intrinsically flawed and threatens to make flying LESS safe. However, it does enable the government to compile yet another watch list of Americans who are disgruntled with the police state crackdown at airports.

Given that it was recently discoveredthat some TSA procedures, including complaints, are operated and processed in all manner of different ways and at the whim of each individual TSA agent, it is no stretch of the imagination to expect that anyone merely opting out of the body scanners, complaining about pat-downs, or filming at checkpoints could be considered to be in “violation”, and therefore added to this latest watch list.

The ACLU has previously contended that huge numbers of Americans are opposed to the measures employed by the DHS and the TSA in the nations airports and train stations, but that many have not registered official complaints for fear of being placed on a watch list.

Remember that the government already operates two “watch lists” that we know of with regards to air travel.  Also remember that the secret government “no fly list” of suspected “terrorists” who are banned from flying to or within the United States more than doubled in 2011. The figures, earlier this year, highlighted the fact that the list now contains around 21,000 names, close to 11,000 more than it did just one year previously.

The government has refused to reveal details of who is on the list and the reason they have been flagged.

In lawsuit against the government, the ACLU is representing American citizens who believe they have been put on the no fly list without explanation. Currently, those who submit a letter to Homeland Security asking to be removed from the list have no way of knowing if their request has been reviewed without attempting to board another flight, according to the ACLU.

This no-fly list, as well as the airlines’ CAPS II system, pales in comparison to the separate government master “terrorist watch list” that reportedly now has over one million names on it.

Reports have confirmed that the watch list contains the names of thousands of innocent Americans, including babies,  children, lawyers and even a retired Air National Guard brigadier, now a commercial pilot for a major airline.

In some cases credit reports have been used in calculating the risk score, while the list has also been used to target political activists opposing the death penalty and the Iraq war. Some, including former White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel have suggested restricting the constitutional rights of those placed on the list. There have also been calls to apply the watch list to Amtrak trainsas well as checkpoints at subways, malls and sports stadiums.

The chairman of a House technology oversight subcommittee warned in 2008 that the database used to produce the government’s terror watch lists is “crippled by technical flaws,” and the system that was due to, and now has, replaced it may be even worse.

In a letter to the inspector general at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) warned that the upgrade “if actually deployed will leave our country more vulnerable than the existing yet flawed system in operation today.”

We have previously highlighted the fact that a miniscule amount, less than 0.01%of Homeland Security cases are terrorism related.

Once again we are reminded that the terrorist threat to America is vastly over hyped and is being used by a criminally controlled government as an excuse to foment a domestic police state to crush any dissent amongst the American people.

Such watch lists represent a subversion of the first and fourth amendments, are inherently flawed and are MORE harmful to the security of the nation.