Saturday, March 28, 2015

Yawning at the Airport? You Just Might Be a Terrorist


The absurd and arbitrary nature of the decade and a half running phony war on terror gets some needed exposure in a report on the TSA checklist used to identify “suspicious” behavior.  The online magazine The Intercept has published a story on a confidential document that serves as a guideline for the government goons manning the Soviet style checkpoints in the nation’s airports. You could find yourself singled out for additional scrutiny for such things as yawning, clearing your throat or God forbid, complaining about the intrusive security procedures. Like there is nothing to bitch about regarding practices that are used to humiliate and condition law abiding Americans to bow down to uniformed big government thugs.

The website The Verge reports on the checklist in the story “The TSA thinks it can catch terrorists by watching people yawn”:

Next time you're making your way through airport security, you should probably avoid whistling. Definitely don't give anyone a "cold, penetrating stare." And go easy on the yawning. The Intercept has gotten a hold of the TSA's guide for spotting terrorists, and true to the complaints that've been lobbed at the agency for years, the list is incredibly generic; just about anyone boarding a flight could be labeled an evildoer in the eyes of the TSA.

Agents look for the indicators and tally up every traveler's total "suspicious behavior" score to decide if it's worth flagging down a law enforcement officer. Former TSA employees who spoke with The Intercept said that the SPOT (Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques) sheet is catch-all by design and gives the agency freedom to finger anyone as a potential threat to passenger safety. "Taxpayer dollars would be better spent funding real police at TSA checkpoints," a former manager said.

This is exactly the type of thing that happens in a society headed from freedom to fascism and no one dared to complain about it back when it still could have been stopped. The whole TSA program was justified by selling the public on being afraid in the aftermath of 9/11 and morphed into what is essentially a trial program for the national imposition of a police state. It didn’t take long before helpless travelers were forced to take off their shoes and made to walk upon a carpet of the foot fungus of others, old women were stripped of their medical diapers and children were felt up by leering perverts who operated with the full authority of the federal government. For those who remember the ‘old days’, the TSA embodies something that was never supposed to exist in America.

Some of the other things that are scrutinized are “arriving late for flight”, “strong body odor”, “widely open staring eyes”, appearing to be “confused or disoriented”, “rubbing or wringing of hands”, "bag does not suit the individuals appearance" and “trembling”.  None of these can be the results of travel fatigue, missed connections, normal behavior or general incompetence of the airlines – but of course I am being sarcastic here. The unspoken objective is to turn the definition of "terrorist" into something as vague as humanly possible so as to apply it against anyone, particularly those critical of the government.

The full 92 point TSA screening checklist document can be found here. Upon reading it I suspect that anyone who is rational will concur with the unnamed TSA Behavior Detection Office Manager quoted in the Intercept story that it is “complete bullshit”.

Congress just had a chance to defund and dismantle this Homeland Security monstrosity too and could have done so until the Republican “leadership” caved in to Emperor Obama and his fearmongers in the media. Now it will just keep growing until the opportunity presents itself for the government to start putting it’s Gestapo into stadiums, arenas and shopping malls across the fruited plain.