I found this article very interesting because besides noting that all passengers are “guilty until scanned innocent” while waiting to board a plane at the airport, it also lists reasons you may seem more likely to be up to something. So in case any of you are planning on traveling, make sure you act like an ideal citizen and suppress any of your natural impulses.

TSA ‘Behavioral Officers’ Monitor Passengers At Airports

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.”

Do you think behavioral specialists are a good idea?
Yes, it’s an extra layer of security. 6958 (48.9%)
No, it’s completely ludicrous.

7258 (51.1%)

^ The above is a poll that AOL conducted about the behavioral specialists. What’s your opinion?


2 responses

  1. kelirosa says:

    This is so crazy to me! I am a person with a loud personality, and more frequently than not, i get super anxious and nervous in crowded airports. I mean if its not the $30 fee for each suit case checked in, or trying to stuff your carry-on into that little metal rack, or a long line, where you have to take your shoes off…its all very nerve wracking. Now to add to that, there are “behavioral officers” monitoring behavior? I mean, lets be honest, we all tend to act a little crazy at airports, especially if its holiday or busy season…
    For me, its all too much!

  2. ilusha88 says:

    I personally think that this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. The fact that these officers are going to have the right to be able to take anyone they want to out of line and question them because they (officers) didn’t like the way that certain people stood or gestured toward something. This is just another way of giving power to people that want to feel important, and have actual little use in everyday life. Yes, they do protect airports to a degree, but where were they on 9/11, that’s what i thought. It’s only when it hits the fan people start caring. Also the fact that these officers probably have no training at all in identifying certain actions merely by looking at gestures and the way people stand is something that seems to be overlooked.