April 22, 2008, - 2:44 pm

Why Are We Entrusting A Key National Security Function to Airlines?

By Debbie Schlussel
Normally, I’m down on the travel industry for opposing post-9/11 national security constraints and for wanting to bend over backwards to help aliens come into the country, no questions asked.
But not this time.
Airlines are balking at the Department of Homeland Security’s boneheaded decision to entrust fingerprinting of aliens to the airlines. They’re upset over the cost.
I oppose it because it a ridiculous idea, fraught with national security problems for terrorists and other criminals to exploit. And it’s a law enforcement duty that should be performed with the billions of tax dollars you pay to DHS (many of which are spent on waste).


Artwork by Fred Taub/Boycott Watch

Per the US-VISIT fingerprint program, we’re supposed to be taking prints of aliens who enter and leave the country. This allows us to track who is here–when they are either arrested or leave the country (whereupon their prints are taken again and entered into the system).
Problem is, DHS wants airlines to take the prints and trusts them to transmit the prints to DHS. And it wants the airlines to spend the money for the machines, which record the prints.
As I’ve pointed out repeatedly on this site, several airlines employ people with terrorist sympathies. Northwest Airline employs the wife of Al-Qaeda terrorist Omar Abdel-Fatah Shishani. It also employs Hussein Berry, a man whose family is involved in the Hezbollah-allied Shi’ite Amal milita, as its Director of Baggage. And, in Detroit (and other locations), it also employs many Muslims with terrorist sympathies.
Do we really want to trust people like this–who have no law enforcement background and have never gone through a strict background check–entering in fingerprints? If any one of them desired to make the government think an alien had left the country, they could have the person enter his/her prints, and we’d be none the wiser that they remained on our soil, plotting who knows what.
So, why, 6.5 years after 9/11, are we entrusting a vital national security system to companies who have profits as their goal and political correctness as their M.O. to track aliens for us? And why doesn’t Homeland Security have any of the billions from its bloated budget to shell out for this?
Airlines shouldn’t be entrusted with this function, which they are screaming they don’t want. They’ll do it on the cheap and do it poorly. It doesn’t help their bottom line, so it will only hurt our national security.
More Michael Chertoff “at work.”

2 Responses

Aren’t the aliens, whether legal or illegal, who are in the U.S. given “rights” under the Constitution? This scheme is going to work?
Biometrics = GATTACA
Hear the one about FEMA/DHS using garbage trucks to house inter-operable video and communication equipment? …and the one about state/local agencies NOT receiving allocated DHS funds, unless state/local agencies procure from DHS (D.C.) approved sources…good ol’ boy network or extortion?
MORE D.C. bureaucracy. What a farce.

Nuggler on April 22, 2008 at 4:30 pm

Unfortunately, DHS would F this up even worse than the airlines. DHS needs to come down ASAP. Send the agencies back to where they came from (Treasury, Justice etc.) It’s amazing to me that the people of this nation can let this stand. There is no hope for DHS. Less bureaucracy and more security against the real enemies of our country is the answer to our homeland security problems.

ParaLyzer on April 23, 2008 at 12:10 am

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