May 29, 2018

JIM BOVARD: After pointlessly groping countless Americans, the TSA is keeping a secret watchlist of those who fight back.

Naturally, the TSA’s official definition of troublemaking goes well beyond punching its officers. According to a confidential memo, any behavior that is “offensive and without legal justification” can land a traveler on the list, as can any “challenges to the safe and effective completion of screening.” Anyone who has ever “loitered” near a checkpoint could also make the list. So could any woman who pushes a screener’s hands away from her breasts.

The memo would be more accurate if it stated that anyone who fails to unquestioningly submit to all the TSA’s demands would be found guilty of insubordination. As an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, Hugh Handeyside, told the Washington Post, the policy gives the agency wide latitude to “blacklist people arbitrarily and essentially punish them for asserting their rights.” Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-New Jersey) expressed similar worry. “I am concerned about the civil-liberty implications of such a list,” she said.

The watchlist would seem less perilous if the TSA were not one of most incompetent agencies on Earth.

It isn’t like Jim to be so generous in his evaluation of government agencies.

Related (From Ed): Reason TV’s Remy performs “The Longest Time (TSA Version):”

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