With an estimated 30 million scheduled flights, airlines reported a record number of Americans taking to the skies this past Thanksgiving. But thanks to the Biden administration, the safety and security of the passengers on those flights was anything but guaranteed.
Sonya LaBosco, director of the Air Marshal National Council, told FOX News that her department had received an email just days before the holiday warning that resources were dangerously depleted. As a result, very few air marshals were available to ensure the safety of flights throughout the busiest travel days of the year.
Air marshals were diverted from their assigned in-flight security duties to hand out water at the southern border, prioritizing the safety and comfort of illegal immigrants over that of millions of American citizens.
Initially, deployment to the border was voluntary, but as the crisis worsened, it’s now mandatory. LaBosco sharply criticized Secretary Mayorkas, noting that he claims the border is secure and refuses to call the deteriorating situation a crisis. She points out that the ongoing crisis now threatens not only the border but also the safety of airline passengers.
But not all resources are being diverted to the border. Three years later, a program is still actively following and monitoring people physically in or around Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021, whether at the Capitol Building or not.
The “Quiet Skies” program was implemented in 2010 by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States. The program allegedly aimed to monitor and track the behavior of certain travelers who were not on any terrorist watchlist but were deemed “unknown or partially known” individuals. Under the program, federal air marshals were assigned to observe and report on the behavior of passengers during their travels, including factors such as excessive sweating, fidgeting, or using a cell phone.
The program has always faced criticism for its secretive nature, lack of transparency, and concerns about privacy and civil liberties. Critics argued that it raised questions about the government’s surveillance practices and the criteria for selecting individuals for monitoring.
It’s now been revealed that Quiet Skies has been following and monitoring airline passengers in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, regardless of why they were visiting. One person observed they were in the D.C. area for a funeral; another noted that they flew in for a job interview. Three years later, they are still subject to enhanced scrutiny on airline flights. As a punishment for daring to travel to D.C. on the same day as the Capitol protest, these passengers receive an SSSS (secondary security screening selection) on their boarding passes.
The personnel used to track these “criminals” are the same law enforcement resources that would typically be used to ensure the safety of passengers during their flights.
Senator Ted Cruz (TX-R) had previously expressed concern about the ongoing deployment of air marshals to the southern border. In a letter addressed to TSA Administrator David Pekoske, Cruz questioned the administration’s priorities, stating, “It is concerning that the administration has prioritized ushering illegal immigrants into the country over protecting the lives and safety of the traveling public.” He argued that diverting air marshals is putting travelers at risk.
LaBosco echoed these sentiments, stating that her air marshals are either “on the border for illegal immigrants” or “following folks from January 2021.” She points out that her department has no bandwidth for “looking out for the bad guys” and warns that law enforcement will be absent on most flights.
She suggests that passengers need to look at others on the flight for help in the case of an emergency because they will be “on their own.” She advises passengers to note where the exits and flight attendants are on all flights and to have a backup plan. She also suggests that passengers find “football players” or other “big guys” to enlist in an emergency.
But all is not lost. Passengers can opt to protect themselves by traveling with someone who visited Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021, since they travel with an assigned air marshal tasked with monitoring their sweat levels.