Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Department of Homeland Security Soon to Begin Extortion of U.S. Travelers

Registered traveler program to cost $200 per year
By Michael Hampton
Posted: September 15, 2006 9:48 am

OBM: Our tax dollars already pay the government for the security of U.S. citizens. To request us to pay more money for the freedoms we had before DHS & Bush took them away is CRIMINAL EXTORTION. PEOPLE WAKE UP!!!!!!!

The cost per person of the Terrorist Support Agency’s Registered Traveler program to pre-clear passengers and give them a “fast lane” through airport security would be $200 per year, out of the range of many business travelers.

The costs include an annual fee of $80 for the program, along with $30 for a terrorist watchlist check, $20 for a separate criminal background check, and $70 to pay for dedicated TSA screeners and screening lanes at participating airports.

Businesses wanting to get the program started, though, say the cost would deter many people from participating.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., whose committee oversees Registered Traveler, said $200 “far exceeds anything that’s ever been entertained. …You don’t know if it’s going to succeed now.”

Larry Zmuda, head of homeland security for Pennsylvania-based Unisys, which also wants to run Registered Traveler, said the heftier price tag “would be a huge blow.” It could deter millions from signing up and make Registered Traveler unprofitable at some airports, he said.

The program would operate only at airports that choose to apply and are approved by TSA. About 20 have applied so far.

The TSA says it wants to avoid spending taxpayer dollars on Registered Traveler. “It’s a private-sector program, and it’s designed to have Registered Traveler customers pay for use of the lane,” [TSA spokeswoman Ellen] Howe said. — USA TODAY

It’s fine to have the program paid for by the people using it, rather than the taxpayers, but homeland security analyst Christian Beckner says that $70 is much more than the actual costs of airport screening. “Travelers already pay for part of the cost of TSA screeners via the existing aviation security fees,” Beckner wrote. “For this $70 portion of the total cost, I think a more nuanced analysis of cost allocations is in order.”

Some security experts don’t like the registered traveler program because it would be too tempting for terrorists to attempt to register in an effort to subvert airport security, and invariably, some would pass the background screening and be approved for the program. “The Trusted Traveler program is based on the dangerous myth that terrorists match a particular profile and that we can somehow pick terrorists out of a crowd if we only can identify everyone,” said Bruce Schneier. “That’s simply not true.”

Last year I pointed out that terrorists, even if not approved for the program, could register just to find out if they were on government watchlists.

No comments:


The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.

The myriad of facts, conjecture, perspectives, viewpoints, opinions, analyses, and information in the articles, stories and commentaries posted on this site range from cutting edge hard news and comment to extreme perspectives. I choose not to sweep uncomfortable material under the rug - where it can grow and fester. I choose not to censor uncomfortable logic. These things reflect the world as it now is - for better and worse. I present multiple facts, perspectives, viewpoints, opinions, analyses, and information.

Journalism should be the profession of gathering and presenting a broad panorama of news about the events of our times and presenting it to readers for their own consideration. I believe in the intelligence, judgment and wisdom of my readers to discern for themselves among the data which appears on this site that which is valid and worthy...or otherwise