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Roaming airport screeners look for people with something to hide

The officer was not a typical Transportation Security Administration screener. He was a specially trained Behavior Detection Officer. BDOs work in the agency's Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques program (SPOT) and are trained to study a person's face and body language for hints of his mental state.

They roam all parts of the airport, including curbside.

"Officers are screening travelers for involuntary physical and physiological reactions that people exhibit in response to a fear of being discovered," the TSA says on its website.


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TSA agents who smoke and talk to other smokers (curbside surveillance), they may also linger in coffee shops eating donuts, they also may be dutifully engaged supervising passengers as they wander from the bathroom in the south side of the terminal to the bathroom in the north side and back. Smoking, caffeine intake, lack of sleep, frequent peeing or perspiration is a sign of anxiety and best observed in these environments.

As they go about these seemingly mundane daily duties, they observe with keen interest the actions and behavior of passengers. When trying to detect anxiety or abnormal behavior experience is the key. So only the most senior of the TSA staff are promoted to this position. Management selects these skillful individuals by asking the Unions to submit a list of their most senior employees requiring a reduced workload and a pay increase. These already experienced staff are given a rigorous 2 day training seminar.

Once this thorough selection and training process has been completed, a government bureaucrat in Washington makes a small checkmark next to his/her "to do list". This checkmark rests beside a task that reads as follows "Create psychological evaluation monitoring system within Airports".

The bureaucrat then passes the completed list to a politician who lauds to the masses "America has a heightened alert and monitoring system within our airports which allows us to identify terrorists using similar methods to the highly trained and effective Israeli security screening system...without profiling!"

Erstwhile in reality, what is being hailed as a major security enhancement is implemented using under-trained staff selected by union's based on seniority rather than actual skills. The people within the newly created positions are still making barely over minimum wage and detaining passengers who's crime is nicotine withdrawal, fear of flying, perhaps an infrequent flyer who is uncertain of the process, over caffeinated passengers, or passengers with sleep deprivation.

Luckily amongst the nations 500 airports, the staff increase only amounts to 1,500 new employees costing America 30,000/hour 24 hours a day.....forever. Hey, 263 million a year, a small price to pay for a security system that will garner a million votes in the next election.


Keep going...soon no one will want to travel to the U.S. That should help the economy.

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves." William Pitt in the House of Commons November 18, 1783
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