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Airline Passenger Screening System For Terrorist


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Just weeks after congressional investigators found that officials in charge of a new airline passenger-screening system violated a federal privacy law, the Department of Homeland Security is pushing Congress to reduce oversight of the program and to allow it to use commercial databases to screen for terrorists.

 

Changes proposed to next year's homeland security funding bill would allow the controversial Secure Flight program to use background checks and profiling to help determine if an airline passenger is a terrorist despite not being on a terror watch list.

 

Additionally, the proposed changes would permit Secure Flight to be rolled out to the nation's airports after Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff certifies the program will be effective and not overly invasive. The current bill requires independent congressional investigators to make that determination.

 

The Government Accountability Office, Congress' investigative arm, said in March that Secure Flight had yet to pass nine out of 10 tests required for certification.

 

A copy of the DHS proposal was provided to Wired News by an opponent of the plan familiar with the negotiations, who did so on condition of anonymity.

 

Democrats working on the homeland security bill confirmed that DHS was lobbying for the changes, and vowed to fight to keep the original language, which was worked out in conjunction with Republican leadership this spring.

 

"We are aware the department is shopping language that is weaker than the provision that Sen. Byrd had in the bill," said Jennifer Reed, a spokeswoman for West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd, the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

 

House Appropriations ranking member Martin Olav Sabo (D-Minnesota) is also aware of the proposal and intends to fight hard to keep the original, more stringent Secure Flight provisions, according to a staffer.

 

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire) and Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Kentucky), who chair homeland security committees in the House and Senate and who worked with Byrd and Sabo on the original language, did not return repeated calls for comment.

 

Word of the DHS' efforts come just days after Chertoff dismissed privacy concerns about Secure Flight in a high-profile interview with USA Today.

 

However, Lee Tien, an Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney, was surprised to learn that Homeland Security officials were looking to loosen restrictions so soon after Secure Flight was found to have violated federal law by secretly collecting data on 250,000 Americans during its test phase.

 

"It boggles the mind that after you start with a strong position against commercial data and then you have the agency caught red-handed doing things it said it would not do -- that the GAO has said were unlawful -- then for Congress to say, 'Oh, that doesn't matter, in fact, you can do it some more if you explain it,'" Tien said. "That doesn't make any sense if you care about privacy."

 

CAPPS II, an earlier version of the Secure Flight project, was killed off in large part over criticism of the program's intention to profile and color-code passengers.

 

However, Justin Oberman, the head of Secure Flight, told the Associated Press in July that he eventually wanted to use commercial data to identify sleeper terrorists among the 1.4 million people who fly daily in the United States.

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Guest B. Cohen

HISTORY TEST

 

Please pause a moment, reflect back, and take the

following multiple choice test. The events are actual

events from history. They actually happened!!!

 

Do you remember?

 

1. 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by

 

a. Superman

b. Jay Leno

c. Harry Potter

d. a Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40

 

2. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by

 

a. Olga Corbett

b. Sitting Bull

c. Arnold Schwarzenegger

d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

 

3. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by:

 

a. Lost Norwegians

b. Elvis

c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women

d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

 

4. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:

 

a. John Dillinger

b. The King of Sweden

c. The Boy Scouts

d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

 

5. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:

 

a. A pizza delivery boy

b. Pee Wee Herman

c. Geraldo Rivera

d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

 

6. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by:

 

a. The Smurfs

b. Davy Jones

c. The Little Mermaid

d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

 

7. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by:

 

a. Captain Kidd

b. Charles Lindberg

c. Mother Teresa

d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

 

8. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:

 

a. Scooby Doo

b. The Tooth Fairy

c. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid

d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

 

9. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:

 

a. Richard Simmons

b. Grandma Moses

c. Michael Jordan

d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

 

10. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:

 

a. Mr. Rogers

b. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Wild Bill's women problems

c. The World Wrestling Federation

d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

 

11. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers.

 

Thousands of people were killed by:

 

a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd

b. The Supreme Court of Florida

c. Mr. Bean

d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

 

12. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:

 

a. Enron

b. The Lutheran Church

c. The NFL

d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

 

13. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:

 

a. Bonnie and Clyde

b. Captain Kangaroo

c. Billy Graham

d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

 

Nope, ..I really don't see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you? So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people. They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents who are members of the President's security

detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winning and former Governor Joe Foss, but leave Muslim Males between the ages 17 and 40

alone lest they be guilty of profiling.

 

Let's send this to as many people as we can so that the Gloria Aldreds and other dunder-headed attorneys along with Federal Justices that want to thwart common

sense, feel doubly ashamed of themselves -- if they have any such sense. As the writer of the award winning story "Forrest Gump" so aptly put it, "Stupid is as stupid does."

 

Come on people wake up!!! Keep this going. Pass it on to everyone in your address book. Our Country and our troops need our support!

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The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has added a new security checkpoint lane to the center pier of Terminal B at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. This new lane brings the total number of lanes to five in the center pier area which serves US Airways, Alaska, American, Air Canada and United Airlines.

 

“We are continuing our program to increase the number of lanes at Reagan National to assist the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to provide more timely service to our customers,” said James E. Bennett, President/CEO of the Airports Authority. “Working with the TSA, our hope is to reduce the time spent in the security screening process. This should enhance the travel experience at the Airport.”

 

Final outfitting of this new security checkpoint will be ongoing through September; however, the Airports Authority expedited the project in order to open the new lane during the summer travel season.

 

The Airports Authority opened an additional lane in Terminal A in 2004 and two additional lanes in Terminal C earlier this year to serve US Airways passengers. Two more new lanes are scheduled to open in Terminal B later this year to serve Delta, Continental, Frontier and America West passengers.

 

Reagan National now has a total of 19 security checkpoint lanes located throughout the Airport.

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