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A Lost Art: Facial Profiling

Posted in Jennifer Ziemann's Blog, Main Blog (All Posts) on September 24th, 2007 8:37 am by HL

By: Jennifer Lynne Ziemann

With just fifty-six hours of training in an intensive course you too can learn how to detect facial behavior that could thwart a terrorist. You too can be a hero! At least that is what the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) would have you believe.
The TSA is stepping up there much scrutinized “behavior detection officer” program in an attempt to keep Americans safe while they travel. As of now they have 600 officers trained and by the end of the year they plan to have a 1,000.
Of course, you got to ask. What, in fifty-six hours of training, could possibly make a person knowledgeable enough to decode the myriad of ticks and facial idiosyncrasies a person can display at any given moment. Does this not require some form of degree in psychology? Or at least a degree in criminal profiling? According to the TSA it does not.
Imagine this, you have taken a trip to Las Vegas sans your husband with a couple of old college buddies. You lose everything; the kid’s college savings, your retirement fund. You are now flying home and you have told your husband that everything is fine. You are sweating, your eyes are shifty, and your hands are shaking. Next thing you know, two burly men approach you. They chat you up and then ask you to come with them. You, being significantly stressed as it is, refuse. You must get home you say. You are then grabbed behind each elbow and escorted away much to your frantic protests.
Habeas Corpus be damned! Ok, so TSA says it is not an actual arrest they just reserve the right to talk to you further based on their authority even if you refuse. They are trained to believe that they can detect slight facial expressions that indicate your lying such as sweating or shifty eyes. They are also looking for behavior such as constantly checking your bags or the people around you, acting in a hesitant manner, or just being nervous which could simply all come from a fear of flying. They claim to be experts in the field of facial profiling based on a mere fifty-six hours of intense training. Certainly a curriculum that would earn them a degree at any major university in psychology.
What about your rights? Your right to not be held by the government for any amount of time without a lawyer present or charges brought against you. Significant evidence? A search warrant? Your accuser? Probable cause? A jury by your peers? This is simply a form of rendition without transportation to a foreign country.
As much as the next citizen, I want to be safe. But to believe that low- paid airport security personnel (starting pay is $31,400) can protect me from the sophisticated terrorist threat President Bush is always screaming about is just ludicrous.
It is time to stop listening to this buffoon and his bought and paid for Congress. It is time for a new government.

One Response to “A Lost Art: Facial Profiling”

  1. Ghost Walker Says:

    this sounds just like the RED SCARE don’t it. I guess history does repeat it’s self. i mean look at the way things are made up about people and it ruins their life. than once that happens they have to trust our elected officials to do the right things to clear them what a fun circle we are in huh?