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Many may recall the frequent bipartisan criticism and outrage in Congress by members in both in the House and Senate. Members who publicly chastised TSA Administrator John Pistole and his many minions who appeared before one oversight committee after another spanned the entire political spectrum. Many legislators had been victims of invasive TSA searches or had family members who were molested by airport security including notables such as Orrin Hatch, Patrick Leahy, Rand Paul, Claire McCaskill, Jason Chaffetz, Paul Broun, Chuck Schumer.
TSA introduced Precheck to quell Congress and blunt public criticism of their corrupt workforce under the premise that it would be available to everyone but failed to disclose that available doesn’t mean accessible. Precheck essentially was only intended to provide cover for a undisclosed move to exempt legislators, judges, government workers and other influential and politically connected individuals while still subjecting ordinary citizens to the same level of harassment and abuse as before.
Not surprising Congressional criticism evaporated almost overnight, oversight questioning by elected officials suddenly became cordial and legislators returned to being a rubber stamp for whatever abusive policies the agency proposes, at least so long as they aren’t subjected to them.
Many predicted that this would be the ultimate state of affairs, an airport security caste system that exempts the elite at the expense of average citizens and after three years that is where we have finally arrived.
The Week – Bonnie Kristian – September 24, 2014
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says in a new report that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) uses its Secure Flight Program — which sorts passengers into high risk, low risk, or unknown risk categories — to privilege many government employees.
In addition to members of Congress and federal judges, millions of employees of the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and intelligence agencies are automatically being considered low risk. As a result, they’re able to use the less invasive and more convenient Pre-Check line at the airport.
As the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has pointed out, this program creates something of a caste system in which government employees get special privileges, while civilians placed in the high or unknown risk categories can’t even find out the rationale for their categorization. “Ultimately,” the ACLU argues, “when we start rewarding or punishing people because of who they are, as opposed to what they’ve done, we drift farther from the principles at the heart of our Constitution.”