Outrageous behavior by the TSA

| May 26, 2008

Jeffrey Denning is a former TSA air marshal who has been serving in Iraq with the US Army Reserve. He just returned home only to face immediately a TSA investigation into an e-mail he received and forward asking “current and former air marshals to talk to CNN”:

My wife and I had an interesting conversation last night. It turns out Mr. Neiderer called my home and spoke with my wife while I was in Iraq. My wife of ten years said he knew I was in Iraq when he called our home. Of course, she was the only one home when he called.

She said he acted like he knew me, and since I had been a Federal Air Marshal (FAM) under the arm of the TSA, and since the caller ID read “U.S. government” with an area code “703” out of Virginia, she thought he may have been an old friend of mine. With that in mind, she told him I was in Iraq. “Yeah, that’s what I thought,” he said, and then he laughed.

There’s nothing funny about that, Mr. Neiderer.

To everyone else, Mr. Neiderer is not an old friend, or even an acquaintance. In fact, I’ve never heard of him in my life until a couple of days ago.

When I got home from Iraq last Monday, he didn’t even allow me a week to relax before calling me and probing me with questions in a supposed all-important government investigation. One would think the nature of this investigation would be terribly serious given the fact that Mr. Neiderer and his ilk at the TSA office in Virginia took some painstaking strides to conduct a thorough search on my recent activities since leaving the air marshal service.

From my personal email he, 1) found out I was a former air marshal; 2) found out I was in Iraq with the Army Reserves and knew that I wasn’t home yet; 3) dug up my personal phone number and called my wife while he knew I was in Iraq. What else did this guy find out about me or my family? Oh, probably everything. Shoot, I wonder if the private email conversations I had with my wife while I was in Iraq were being monitored too! It makes me livid.

All of this just because TSA wanted to know who sent me an email I forwarded in March of this year from my personal email account asking for current and former air marshals to talk to CNN.

Pretty appalling and inappropriate, if you ask me. I tend to cut the TSA more slack than most people, but this is unconscionable.  ..bruce w..

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Category: Intelligence, Main, Media, Military, US Politics

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at bwebster@bfwa.com, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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