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Air marshals target innocent travelers for 'suspect' quota

Your government is out of control, part 4059.

Federal Air Marshals are hired to supposedly to keep us safe in the air; these workers are now under pressure to meet a quota of known “suspicious characters” that are added to a secret government document called a Surveillance Detection Report (SDR).

In fact, managers in Las Vegas are tying a quota of “suspects” to “performance evaluations” and raises of the air marshals.

You know what that means folks — innocent people are getting added to the database for no reason at all, except that they are in the wrong place at the wrong time — and an air marshal hasn’t found anyone to add to the list that month. (DenverChannel):

You could be on a secret government database or watch list for simply taking a picture on an airplane. Some federal air marshals say they’re reporting your actions to meet a quota, even though some top officials deny it.

The air marshals, whose identities are being concealed, told 7NEWS that they’re required to submit at least one report a month. If they don’t, there’s no raise, no bonus, no awards and no special assignments.

“Innocent passengers are being entered into an international intelligence database as suspicious persons, acting in a suspicious manner on an aircraft … and they did nothing wrong,” said one federal air marshal.

…What kind of impact would it have for a flying individual to be named in an SDR?

“That could have serious impact … They could be placed on a watch list. They could wind up on databases that identify them as potential terrorists or a threat to an aircraft. It could be very serious,” said Don Strange, a former agent in charge of air marshals in Atlanta. He lost his job attempting to change policies inside the agency.

That’s why several air marshals object to a July 2004 memo from top management in the Las Vegas office, a memo that reminded air marshals of the SDR requirement.

The body of the memo said, “Each federal air marshal is now expected to generate at least one SDR per month.”

Even as the agency denies having this quota system, some Las Vegas-based air marshals have produced documents linking performance evals to producing SDRs on people.

What grinds my *ss is that these clowns are joking about people being flagged for scrutiny that will be hard to undo and could affect them profoundly. Look at this flip BS criteria for writing someone up.

One example, according to air marshals, occurred on one flight leaving Las Vegas, when an unknowing passenger, most likely a tourist, was identified in an SDR for doing nothing more than taking a photo of the Las Vegas skyline as his plane rolled down the runway.

“You’re saying that was not an accurate portrayal of a potential terrorist activity?” Kovaleski asked.

“No, it was not,” an air marshal said.

“It was a marshal trying to meet a quota …” Kovaleski said.

“Yes, he was,” the air marshal replied.

Hat tip, Julien’s List.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding