TSA 'Behavioral Officers' Monitor Passengers At Airports (VIDEO)

Posted Apr 27th 2011 08:45 AMUpdated Apr 27th 2011 03:03 PM

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The TSA has "behavioral indicator officers" to monitor passenger's antics while in security lines. Worried about being wanded and scanned? Add worrying about being nervous about getting groped, wanded and scanned to the list.

So what do these behavioral specialists look for as dead giveaways of aspiring terrorists waiting patiently in line?

Be wary of seeming too cocky or verbally express displeasure with long lines. Don't look fearful or impatient. You can easily spot the TSA behavioral specialist by looking for the agent staring at you with one raised and quizzical eyebrow.

The specialists are currently deployed in 161 airports around the country, according to the TSA.

Civil liberties groups say it's "absurd" that exercising your right to freedom of speech should seem suspicious. Michael German of the ACLU even called it "anti-American."

Terrorist experts say would-be terrorists try to keep a low profile at the airport to deflect attention. And national security analyst Peter Bergen told CNN that "it doesn't make any sense to me."

Yet the immigration agent who stopped the so-called 20th 9/11 hijacker recalled that his behavior was "arrogant." The TSA modeled this program off that argument and other conversations with would-be hijackers.

As Gadling's Mike Barish notes: '"You know who exhibits involuntary physical and physiological reactions in response to TSA screenings? A very large segment of the population. Between patting down children, radiating travelers and blatant xenophobia, the TSA hasn't exactly installed confidence in the general public. So, it's only natural that completely innocent travelers might exhibit signs of fear while waiting to be screened by poorly trained security agents.

At present, all travelers are presumed guilty until scanned innocent. That makes many people outraged, nervous and downright scared. Will these TSA Behavior Detection Officers be able to differentiate an anxious terrorist and a nervous flier? Seeing as how how the TSA has a history of overstepping its bounds, it's hard for us to be confident in their profiling skills."

On the TSA's website, behavior detection officers are,
"screening travelers for involuntary physical and physiological reactions that people exhibit in response to a fear of being discovered. TSA recognizes that an individual exhibiting some of these behaviors does not automatically mean a person has terrorist or criminal intent. Individuals exhibiting specific observable behaviors may be referred for additional screening at the checkpoint to include a handwanding, limited pat down and physical inspection of one's carry-on baggage."

WATCH CNN video below and vote in the poll:



Do you think behavioral specialists are a good idea?
Yes, it's an extra layer of security.13996 (43.3%)
No, it's completely ludicrous.18310 (56.7%)

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jdhegnes

The bungling, incompetent Fuhrer John Pistole has now expanded his benevolent dictatorship into mind control. If this isn't Orwellian and facist, nothing is.

May 06 2011 at 5:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
aerohobo

Airport TSA personnel seem to be doing everything necessary to substantiate their continued government employee status. Suggestion: (1) Privatize this operation (2) Hire educated and licensed screeners (3) Regulate and audit the companies that provide airport security. Result: Efficiency and integrity. To compare: Government employees do not fly, dispatch or work on commercial airplanes. They are certificated by the FAA and chose to be in these professions through stringent education and licensing processes. At the same time, the United States government provides oversight of all of these disciplines.

April 30 2011 at 7:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Not OK

Pure BULL$H!T
The TSA here is LESS competent than shopping mall security guards. They are totally frigging clueless and useless, creating the APPEARANCE of security to reassure the traveling public at the LOWEST possible cost. When I travel through Paris, I am greeted by a friendly but well trained professional police officer while I am in line waiting to check in for my flight. They ask a number of routine questions: where are you traveling from, where are you traveling to, who are you traveling with, what is the purpose of your travel, where will you be staying at your final destination. With these simple questions they denied Richard Reid, aka the shoe bomber, from boarding his first flight. He would have passed the all the scanning technology, even now. But he was traveling on a one way ticket with no luggage, he had no purpose or business in New York and had no hotel or place to stay when he got there. HELLO!!!! El Al uses the same kind of simple questions to screen passengers. The quality of the screener (college educated career police officers) plus personal interaction results in better protection without violating 4th amendment rights. If everyone opted out of the radiation screenings, the TSA would be forced to come up with better solutions, maybe even effective ones. Instead they instill fear to keep the sheep docile. If you object, you are persecuted with more intimidation. Keep the sheep docile! I often fly weekly for business, I am in my mid-forties, have a graduate degree and own a home. This pattern is very different than the current threat profile. Groping my undies will not keep anyone safer. If I am going to be groped...can TSA at least hire some hot female agents and let me choose who I get for the "pat down" please. Same security / more fun. Honestly this one size fits all approach to security is as wasteful as it is ineffective.

April 29 2011 at 8:19 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
john

I opt for you freakin morons in the TSA to inspect stool samples. Every passenger bring a stool sample. That way we can put these aholes through some of the same **** they put six year olds through. What an "Obamanation" this shithole of a government is!

April 28 2011 at 5:47 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
john

Lets see, how many terrorists have these idiots caught? Normally I would say yes, but in the case of these feaky weirdos running the governent I'd rather take my chances.

April 28 2011 at 5:41 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
PatrickE

Saying yes here, with the minor caveat that the TSA has lost what ever trust anyone rational might have with respect to doing this *right*. This is exactly what most airports around the world do, before talking to people, and then *only* doing all the other crap if they has some real suspicion. TSA will probably just use it to send more people through strip searches than before.

April 28 2011 at 5:27 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
SB

The body language they're looking for is utterly ambiguous and subjective. But don't worry. They're looking for "multiple signs" of body language, each of which may be utterly ambiguous and subjective, but together are... somehow... not? This sort of policing cannot work. It's no better than guesswork that will lead to poorer decisions by, and more problems for, TSA officers.

April 28 2011 at 3:56 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
no dreramer

WTF?

April 28 2011 at 3:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Barry Walker

Are you SERIOUS? An "extra layer of security"?! This is ALREADY security theater. This just forces me to look at alternative methods of transportation - including finishing my pilot's license.

Those of you who think this **** is keeping you safe, you might want to think twice.

April 28 2011 at 2:27 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Joey Ess

This is ridiculous. What's next? Mind readers? Gypsy fortune tellers? Tarot Card readers? Chicken entrails?

April 28 2011 at 2:19 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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