By Grady Hawkins
Alt Press National Affairs editor
A front page story in the June 13th edition of the Buffalo News had to have raised some eyebrows. The story entitled “Screening at Airport Sizing Up Behavior” revealed that as of mid-May, ten behavioral detection officers have been working at the airport. This thought police squad’s job is to roam around the airport looking for what the N.Y. Times calls ‘evil intent’. This evil intent becomes apparent in the individuals facial expressions, nervous tics, odd gestures, etc. If a passenger exhibits what the thought police squad believes is terrorist like tendencies, they engage the- would- be perpetrator in conversation gambits like “where are you going this afternoon?” But if they don’t like the answer they can have him subjected to an intensive search, or turned over to the local authorities for further questioning.
The brain trust behind this program is, of course, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This is just one of the many departments under the command and control of Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. A quick click to the TSA webpage reveals that “Behavioral Detection Officers execute the TSA’s Screening Passengers by Observation Technique (STOP). By the end of fiscal year 2008, the TSA anticipates having more than 500 of these officers working in major airports from coast to coast.
These officers will be subjected to three grueling weeks of class room training and then two weeks in the field with their more experienced brothers. They will be trained ‘to recognize concealed emotion, such as fear or anxiety…so-called micro-facial expressions appear on a person’s face for 1/25th of a second.”
How all of this is accomplished is anyone’s guess. How much is will cost the tax-payer is again up for scrutiny.
This program came into being just after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. It began in Boston at Logan International airport, where airport security thought that techniques used to catch drug mules could be turned lose on terrorists. In December 2005, the TSA began to use the program at about a dozen airports, including Dulles, National, Buffalo and Logan.
So far the results have been negligible. So far just a few illegal aliens, drug guys, and some fugitives with outstanding warrants have been busted. These could have been nabbed by accident or coincidence. And so far not one terrorist has been apprehended.
This entire program has nothing to do with catching Osama Been Forgotten. It has everything to do with expanding the power of the Executive branch of the Empire, creating a huge, very expensive bureaucracy with constantly expanding power.
Power that is once gained will never be relinquished.
The reason being that fighting terrorism requires dedicated police work combined with serious intelligence gathering both human and electronic. It is tedious, thankless work. Hundreds of man hours are needed, following up on hundred of tips, leads, interviews. Most are worthless. An entire career could result in rolling up just one terror cell. And after doing so a case has to be put together. The wheels of justice turn very slowly, but require tedious evidence gathering, more interviews and more written reports.
It all has to be correct to the last detail. No room for a legal loop-hole technicality a hot shot defense lawyer can throw at the system. This could jeopardize years of hard work.
There is nothing sexy about this. There is no James Bond to work with. No secret decoder rings, no trench-coated sexy Russian spy babes. Just another day of tedium followed up by boredom and too many details.
No fast track to promotion, no six figure salary, just a grey metal government desk and the keys to a grey government sedan.
No Miss Moneypenny anywhere; just a GS-5 secretary with sensible shoes.
In our new American Empire this will never do.
The masses need the circus. So the Empire creates one. We have to expand the action. We have to be seen doing something secret, mysterious, confidential, and always very expensive. The more we do it the more we need to make it bigger. The public will see the agents of the Empire ‘fighting terror’, and they will justify whatever wacky too themselves as just another part of keeping the Homeland safe for the American way of life.
And the result of all this is that the citizens of the New American Empire will get used to being watched. This is the whole point of the exercise. They will expect to be screened, examined and watched on camera. They will become used to the idea of cooperating with the authorities. They will become used to the idea of watching the new neighbors who just moved in down the block: who are they and what do they do?
So now we have the thought police squad expanding to an air port near you. And what might be next on the TSA’s weapons in the fight against terror?
Maybe they will create a dowsing rod squad to detect bomb making residue. This could be a lucrative government contract for a private dowsing rod multinational corporation.
Perhaps they will bring back remote viewing. I can see the remote viewing thought police in action. They will watch you at home as you pack for your trip. They will know what’s in your luggage and carry on baggage. If they don’t like what they see someone will be waiting for you as you pull into the airport parking lot.Just to ask a few questions.