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Congresswoman unveils bill to end illegal TSA impersonations of federal law enforcement officers

Wednesday, December 28, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: TSA, impersonation, law enforcement

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(NaturalNews) Because of the way they are instructed to dress and conduct themselves at US airports, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners come across as if they are some type of federal law enforcement officers, even though they are not. For this reason, a number of Congressmen are backing a new bill authored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) that will put an end to these illegal impersonation protocols, which include having TSA agents dress in police officer-like uniforms with official badges.

Contrary to popular belief, TSA airport screeners are not law enforcement officers. In fact, as we have documented numerous times here at NaturalNews, TSA agents are perceived as having far more authority than they really have -- and some of them have abused this false perception to take advantage of the public (http://www.naturalnews.com/033239_TSA_agents...).

"They are not officers. They are not federal law enforcement officers. They do not get any federal law enforcement officer training. They are not eligible for those benefits," said Rep. Blackburn in a recent CNN segment on the new bill, called Stop TSA's Reach In Policy (STRIP), or HR 3608. "These are screeners. You have reclassified their job title to say officers. They should go back to being screeners and focus on protecting the flying public, not to overreaching their authority because they're wearing a law enforcement uniform and a badge."

You can watch the full CNN interview with Rep. Blackburn here

Prior to 2001, of course, the TSA did not even exist. The agency was created in the wake of 9/11 to "federalize airport security." But it was not until 2005 that TSA screeners were reclassified as "Transportation Security Officers" (TSO), and their uniforms administratively modified to make them look more like law enforcement, complete with a patch and metallic badge (http://www.tsa.gov/press/happenings/091108.s...).

Rep. Blackburn says her "STRIP" bill will help prevent screeners from abusing their positions to take advantage of others, which was what happened in Virginia recently when 52-year-old TSA screener Harold Glen Rodman allegedly sexually assaulted a woman while wearing his uniform (http://www.naturalnews.com/034331_TSA_sexual...).

When asked why she does not support eliminating the TSA altogether, though, as well as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), its parent agency, Rep. Blackburn basically dodged the question and began talking further about "safety and security." Completely eliminating both the TSA and the DHS makes the most sense, as neither agency has any constitutionally justifiable purpose, and they continue to become more tyrannical in their treatment of innocent Americans.

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