Yes, you have heard of the illegal “pat-down” that violates your Fourth Amendment right that the TSA practices on a daily basis at the nation’s airport. Now, the latest in improve security (allegedly) is the Israeli-style “chat-down.” This is just too good to make up. The TSA has begun a new “behavioral screening program that is modeled after Israel’s airport security screening methods.”
The TSA has now rolled out “Behavior Detection Officers” on a 60 day trial period to confront travelers, “ask a few personal questions and look for signs that they may be hiding something. Suspicious passengers will be sent to a secondary screening or referred to a law enforcement officer.”
Leave it to DHS (or the U.S. Government) to come up with a fancy term for this nearly $1 billion national program called SPOT or Screening Passengers by Observation Technique. Rep Bernie Thompson (D-MS) questions the use of these techniques saying there, “is no scientific validation, limited or comprehensive, of the efficacy of the Assessor model of screening to detect persons who pose a security rick to aviation.”
I don’t believe the use of this unproven technique will be nearly as successful as that used in Israel. Unfortunately the TSA and John Pistole are the driving force behind this new and unproven method, which does nothing for you, as an air traveler but cause you further delay in getting through security. Personally, I don’t care if the TSA likes my answers to there irrelevant questions. I would much rather have fun giving them questionable answers, but that would only lead me to the “grope me please” line at the security checkpoint.
The trial period of 60 days is rather short, I will be curious to see data (if the TSA makes it available) to the number of travelers that were confronted and questioned versus the number that were sent for additional screening. Answer me this, how many of these confrontations actually led to detaining a suspect terrorist who was going to blow up an airplane? I’ll answer that now. None.