The following includes editorial content written by a retired Police Chief and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
WASHINGTON, DC- It’s hard to understand exactly what the Biden administration is thinking. As we approach two years of a wide open border that has led to the equivalent of a foreign invasion of the United States, there is now word that Biden’s Department of Homeland Security wants to risk the flying public’s lives as well, apparently having learned nothing from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
According to numerous outlets, including Fox News, the administration plans on removing a number of air marshals from their duties patrolling the skies and shift them under mandatory deployments to the southern border. And those air marshals are none too happy about it, with a number saying they will refuse such deployments to the southern border, which could lead to their termination.
While the air marshals realize that refusing the order puts them at risk of termination, they argue that by abandoning their current assignments protecting the skies, it will leave American fliers extremely vulnerable to threats, especially with the onset of the busy holiday travel season.
In mid-2021, the Federal Air Marshal Service sought volunteers from among its ranks to deploy to the US-Mexico border for 30 day assignments amidst an influx of illegal aliens at that time, which has pretty much continued unabated as Biden’s DHS completely ignores the invasion at the southern border. Amid complaints, those deployments were eventually dropped to 21 days.
The administration, however, is no longer interested in seeking only volunteers to deploy to the border and last month announced that air marshals, as law enforcement agents assigned within the Transportation Security Administration, would now face mandatory deployments as a shortage of Border Patrol agents worsens.
David Londo, president of the Air Marshal National Council, told The Washington Examiner, “Rank and file air marshals are going to refuse to deploy and risk termination,” noting the administration would strip 99% of commercial airline flights from federal protection.
In 2001, nineteen Islamic terrorists commandeered four commercial airliners, two each from American Airlines and United Airlines and slammed three of them into two targets—one each into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, and a third into the Pentagon in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC.
A fourth aircraft—United Flight 93—crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania after brave passengers, aware of the other three attacks, attempted to breach the flight deck. It is believed that jet was headed to attack the US Capitol building.
While flight decks have had their flight deck doors reinforced and the Transportation Safety Administration mans airport checkpoints since that date, federal air marshals add another layer of protection to keep American skies safe.
Londo continued, “You’re almost going to have a mutiny of a federal agency, which is unheard of.”
Under the Biden administration’s order, only 1-in-100 U.S. flights would have air marshal coverage, equating to one-eighth of its normal coverage.
Surprisingly, this is the first time during Biden’s wide-open border policy since he took office that federal employees have seemingly turned against Biden, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and other officials with the federal government.
As with the Border Patrol officers, morale among Air Marshals has been eviscerated by the administration’s latest move.
“Morale is so destroyed from this,” said Londo, whose organization serves as an association rather than a union. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
He explained that a number of the air marshals are willing to risk their livelihoods due to how the administration is handling (or not handling, more accurately) national security.
The Examiner noted that the air marshals are not even performing law enforcement duties at the border, but rather are glorified servants, being primarily tasked with menial jobs.
For example, Londo said air marshals have performed duties such as “heating up sandwiches,” taking illegal aliens to the hospital and then being forced to babysit them while on hospital watch. It is pretty much brainless work more reserved for a brainless wonder like say, Joe Biden.
“These highly skilled [air marshals] are being made to perform mainly non-law enforcement civilian humanitarian duties,” Londo wrote in a letter that was obtained by The Washington Examiner.
DHS has ordered a minimum of an additional 150 air marshals to the border as of Dec. 7. Londo said dozens are going to refuse and do not care if they are fired for doing so.
“Air marshals are deployed two to three nights a week. Now they’re taking them away, and their marriages are already on the rocks,” Londo said.
Last week, the Federal Air Marshal Service’s Miami field office announced the deployments would continue indefinitely. Air marshals have already been deployed to cities such as El Paso, Laredo and McAllen in Texas; San Diego; and Tucson and Yuma in Arizona.
In a letter last week, the air marshal’s council warned Mayorkas, as well as the TSA and the Federal Air Marshals Service that the order was basically self-defeating, noting that it did nothing to enhance security at the border while diminishing security for those Americans who fly during the busiest travel time of the year.
“According to the Federal Aviation Administration year to date there have been 2,178 reports of unruly passengers, 767 investigations initiated, and 517 enforcement actions taken. Not to mention the fact there has been two attempted attacks on our homeland since 9-11 during the holiday season,” the letter states. “your policy has resulted in a complete loss of confidence in Secretary Mayorkas, FAM Director Stevenson, and Administrator Pekoske’s ability to lead DHS/TSA/FAMS.”
In his letter, Londo pointed out a number of recent violent passenger attacks midflight, some which involved weapons smuggled aboard aircraft, as well as an attempted cockpit breach on a Southwest Airlines flight a little over a week back.
This past week, a passenger on a Southwest flight between Houston and Columbus, OH. attempted to open a rear cabin door. The woman also bit a passenger who was trying to restrain her.
The air marshals have also received support in their fight against the deployments from their fellow law enforcement officers. The National Association of Police Organizations issued a statement ins support of the air marshals, warning they were already in a bad place prior to the Biden administration’s dictate.
“The Federal Air Marshal Service is understaffed and covering the fewest number of flights since before September 11, 2001,” said NAPO, a coalition covering more than 1,000 police departments nationwide. “We strongly question the decision by the Department of Homeland Security to divert much-needed aviation security to the southern border especially as we enter the busiest travel season of the year, particularly as a Federal emergency has not been declared at the border.”
The Examiner also noted the air marshal’s council is working behind the scenes with the DHS Inspector General to probe the Biden administration’s transfer of the air marshals.
Hondo accused TSA Administrator David Pekoske and Federal Air Marshal Service Director Tirrell Stevenson of “fraud, waste, and abuse of authority and violations of federal law,” in a letter sent to DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari, which was exclusively obtained by the Washington Examiner.
In the letter dated Nov. 18, Hondo called on the IG to investigate the legality of the redeployments. He wrote that the only exception to pulling air marshals from their assigned positions would be in the event of a declared national emergency, which has not been the case. He continued that even if an emergency were declared, air marshals are only permitted to assist other agencies with transportation-related issues.
Despite well over four million illegal aliens crossing the border (not including got-aways), the administration under the equally feckless Biden and Mayorkas has refused to call it a crisis. Neither Biden nor his “border czar” Kamala Harris have been anywhere near the border in the nearly 21 months of the administration.
The number of illegal crossings in less than two years has outpaced the number who illegally entered the United States during the eight years of the Obama administration.
Invasion? You decide.
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