Air marshals file fake terrorist surveillance reports

Some federal air marshals are fabricating reports of suspicious activity on innocent people in order to meet a quota, causing them to be listed on terrorist watch lists, according to several marshals.

The reports, known as Surveillance Detection Reports, are supposed to be filed whenever an air marshal sees suspicious activity which may indicate a terrorist conducting surveillance of potential targets. But a quota of one report per month, without which air marshals might not receive raises, promotions or choice assignments, is leading some of them to report completely innocuous activities of completely innocent people.

That’s right, there aren’t enough terrorists flying around, so the government has to completely make them up, calling innocent people potential terrorists. And who do you suppose loses under this scheme?

“The people we’re supposed to protect — the American public,” an air marshal said.

What kind of impact would it have for a flying individual to be named in an SDR?

“That could have serious impact — They could be placed on a watch list. They could wind up on databases that identify them as potential terrorists or a threat to an aircraft. It could be very serious,” said Don Strange, a former agent in charge of air marshals in Atlanta. He lost his job attempting to change policies inside the agency.

That’s why several air marshals object to a July 2004 memo from top management in the Las Vegas office, a memo that reminded air marshals of the SDR requirement.

The body of the memo said, “Each federal air marshal is now expected to generate at least one SDR per month.” — KMGH

I’ve got a better idea. Let’s just put everyone on the terrorist watch list and quit with the charades already.

(I had received tips of this from multiple sources, but was unable to publish until now, since I was busy trying not to get shot at by this guy today.)

One thought on “Air marshals file fake terrorist surveillance reports

  • July 27, 2006 at 9:42 am

    I think maybe I have ended up on one of those lists. On my last few trips I was singled out at EVERY SINGLE AIRPORT. I got the full treatment searched at every checkpoint. The pat down, they tore apart my bags and wiped and tested just about everything in them. snapped pictures of me. If I wasn’t in a rush to get on the plain I would have made a stink about it. The whole being detained without warrant, illegally searched just about every right was ignored.

    Actually this reminds me I need to file a report to the airlines some things came up missing out of my bags. Since they were searched at every checkpoint (in a couple of places that meant 3 of these “Random” checks.) I don’t know how random they can be since I was checked at every one of them. Statistically an impossibility.

    So I think that there might be a little more consequence than the random police stop for a broken tail light.

    Also as Dana said how many hits before they determine there is a pattern and now you are on a FBI watch list having every email you write analyzed every phone conversation listened to? How many hits before they use one of their new powers to fight terrorism to detain you without arrest or trial for a few days/weeks/months?

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