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Administrator of TSA Speaks Out Against “Racial Profiling” Allegations
by Ezra Van Auken
A USAToday editorial by John S. Pistole, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, was posted yesterday. After TSA workers and government security critics exposed interesting information about training the agency gives to each worker whose in the “behavior detection” program, released by the New York Times.
Labeled as a “white officer” in the NYT, the agent said, “They just pull aside anyone who they don’t like the way they look — if they are black and have expensive clothes or jewelry, or if they are Hispanic,” describing their experience working for the TSA, as well as pointing out racial labels the government agency uses to target individuals.
However, the new report by TSA administrator, John Pistole explains a different view of how their behavioral detection unit goes about finding “suspicious” individuals. According to Pistole, “TSA behavior-detection officers engage in casual conversations with travelers while looking and listening for behavioral cues such as facial expressions, body language or other behavior that may indicate a security risk. If signs are found, officers may ask for follow-up conversation with the passenger and perhaps more thorough screening.”
The government program has started an official investigation into the claims made by TSA workers and stated, “Racial profiling is not tolerated within the ranks of TSA, including within the Behavior Detection Program. Profiling is not only discriminatory, but it is also an ineffective way to identify someone intent on doing harm”.
Although many Americans have discredited the agency because of various incidents that have occurred with the TSA including a worker who laughed after spilling crematory ashes from someone’s luggage and other agents found drinking on the job. Not only has the government group produced many bizarre episodes, liberty advocates believe the TSA is disobeying the constitution.