Mission Creep Leads TSA to Racially Profile in Pursuit of Non-Terrorists to Arrest
by Virginia Postrel • Aug 12, 2012 at 8:56 pm
The front page of today's NYT carries this investigative piece about racial profiling by TSA officers at Boston's Logan Airport. Since two of the 9/11 flights originated there, you might think local officers were just jumpy about terrorism. But no. They're allegedly targeting blacks and Hispanics, especially those bound for Miami, because of pressures to find people who can be arrested for reasons having nothing to do with terrorism or any other violent threat to the safety of air travel. From the story by Michael S. Schmidt and Eric Lichtblau, which you should read in full:
The TSA has no business looking for drugs, outstanding arrest warrants, or immigration problems unless it has serious reason to believe that the person involved poses a serious threat to air safety. If it is going to serve as an extension of every other sort of law enforcement, then its searches should be subject to the same requirements for probable cause, which would allow almost everyone to travel without submitting to TSA examination.
This mission creep recalls InstaPundit's prescient post at 1:49 p.m. on September 11, 2001:
And that's exactly what happened.
(The headline is not technically accurate, since the TSA does not arrest people. It refers them to other law enforcement agencies.)
[Airport security inspection in underwear photo courtesy of BigStock.com]
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