Against the State: An Interview with Lew Rockwell

This interview was originally published by the Rutherford Institute.
John W. Whitehead: There is no end to discussion of John Locke’s impact on the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence lists our inalienable rights to ‘Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness’ and the Constitution creates a relatively strong central government limited nonetheless by our fundamental freedoms. And so, Americans generally accept that our government is designed to protect our freedoms and natural rights. Llewellyn Harrison ‘Lew’ Rockwell, Jr. challenges that assumption. An avowed anarcho-capitalist, he rejects statism entirely, believing that society would be better able to protect our freedoms if there were no government at all.
The founder and chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a libertarian organization in Auburn, Alabama, Lew Rockwell is also a prolific author and editor who regularly publishes articles denouncing government intervention in markets, war, American imperialism, and the police state. His new book, Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto, he proclaims that the state need not always have the powers it presently retains. He was also Ron Paul’s congressional chief of staff from 1978 to 1982, is Vice President of the Center for Libertarian Studies in Burlingame, California, and runs a libertarian website, Mr. Rockwell took some time from his busy schedule to speak to constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, and OldSpeak about his new book, his views on government, and his advice for Americans who want to know what they can do to rein in their runaway government.
JW: What is Anarcho-Capitalism?
Lew Rockwell: Anarcho-Capitalism is a term coined by the late Murray N. Rothbard. Murray coined that term to talk about an anarchism that would be free market and capitalist. So what is anarchism? The dictionary definition means without a government, without rulers. The secondary meaning in the dictionary is chaos and terrible trouble.
Now are we supposed to believe that after the horrendous crimes of government in the 20th century – after the mind-blowingly evil and monstrous crimes of the Communists, the Nazis, the Fascists, the British and the Americans and lots of other people too, and the wars.
JW: Not to mention the carnage and the death. Imperialism is what you are talking about.
LR: Yes. Now are we supposed to believe that the real danger, the real horror, would be to have no government? I mean just look: 100 million people were killed [in the 20th century], not counting the wars. If you count the wars the government caused and participated in, it is more than 200 million innocents killed. That does not even include the soldiers killed. It is quite an astounding record. We are supposed to believe that the real danger, the real horror, would be to have no government?
Anarcho-capitalists would argue that people don’t need a ruling class. Most of us in our private lives are not interested in sticking a gun in our next door neighbor’s ribs and demanding his wallet. Even if the cops would all but disappear, we wouldn’t do that.
The vast majority of us and the vast majority of our encounters – commercial, familial, whatever – everything is done voluntarily. There is no violence or threat of violence. That, of course, is government. Government is violence and the threat of violence.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on October 02, 2014.

Congressman Rangel Calls for War Tax, Draft; Why Not Bomb the Entire Muslim World? Draft Worse Than Slavery

In a Time Magazine Op-Ed, Congressman Charles Rangel (Democrat from New York), a combat veteran says It’s Time for a War Tax and a Reinstated Draft.
While I am optimistic about our Commander-in-Chief’s strategy to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, I voted against the Continuing Appropriations Resolution 2015 that would grant the President the authority to provide funds to train and arm Syrian rebels against the enemy. I opposed the amendment because I strongly believe amassing additional debt to go to war should involve all of America debating the matter. That is why I have called for levying a war tax in addition to bringing back the military draft.
Both the war surcharge and conscription will give everyone in America a real stake in any decision on going to war, and compel the public to think twice before they make a commitment to send their loved ones into harm’s way.
For a decade I have been calling for the reinstatement of the draft because our military personnel and their families bear a tremendous cost each time we send them to fight.
Draft Worse Than Slavery
Slavery is involuntary servitude. Is a draft anything less than slavery?
Actually, it’s worse.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on October 01, 2014.

Subsidies, Market Prices, and the 2014 Farm Bill

President Barack Obama signed the Agricultural Act of 2014 into law on February 7, 2014.[1] The legislation becomes law later than anticipated given the usual timing for farm bills, which typically work their way through the Congress every five years.[2] The last major farm bill was passed in May 2008,[3] and key provisions of that bill were at the center of discussions of the federal ‘fiscal cliff’ in late 2012.[4] Of the $956 billion spent in this massive bill,[5] about 80 percent is earmarked for nutritional assistance programming, with the balance going to various types of agriculture spending.[6] Within the agriculture spending provisions, the bill phases out some programs that provided direct payments to farmers[7] originally designed to wean crop producers off of old-fashioned price guarantees for crops including wheat, corn, sorghum, barley, oats, cotton, rice, soybeans, minor oilseeds, and peanuts.[8] Although the farm bill rolls back these direct payment programs, it also creates two new commodity programs to replace them: Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC).

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Wednesday, October 01, 2014.

NSA Has been using a 1981 Executive Order to Circumvent Congress and the Constitution

The NSA has been secretly using a Presidential Executive Order issued back in 1981 to justify everything it does and not an actual democratic law issued by Congress no less the Constitution. Documents released by the U. S. government suddenly reveal, thanks to the ACLU, that the NSA views an executive order issued in 1981 as the basis of most of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on September 29, 2014.


Henry Kissinger, Bilderberg kingpin and architect of overthrowing democratically elected governments, is keen to establish a global mercenary army to fight terrorists, according to Fox News big mouth Bill O’Reilly, who has heartily endorsed such a notion on recent programming.
‘I was with Henry Kissinger last night,’ O’Reilly said Sunday on ABC News’ This Week.
‘And he told me my idea of a worldwide anti-terror force paid for by the coalition of nations under the supervision of Congress – Kissinger has endorsed that for years.’

This post was published at Info Wars on SEPTEMBER 29, 2014.

Government Creeptards Complain About Private Sector Privacy Measures

Evil Companies Making Life Harder for the Snoops … Apple and Google both recently announced that they would implement new measures designed to ensure the privacy of users of their hardware. This is a long overdue reaction to what has been revealed about blanket spying by the government on the citizenry and the legal sophistry the government has employed (successfully so far) to ward off constitutional challenges to its all-encompassing snooping.
In order to avoid having to comply with secret surveillance orders, first Apple, and a bit later Google as well, decided to simply make it impossible for themselves to crack the encryption of the hardware they sell to their customers. As a result, they will no longer be able to obey government orders to provide access to their phones. It would be akin to government ordering them to make it rain, or to make the sun come up an hour earlier. Sorry, boys, can’t be done.
It was probably inevitable that the government’s law and order minions would complain about this. However, they wisely didn’t wheel out James Clapper (one of the few people in the world able to commit perjury in a Congress hearing without having to fear even the slightest negative consequences. We leave you to guess why this is so), but rather FBI chief James Comey. The Washington Post reports:
‘FBI Director James B. Comey sharply criticized Apple and Google on Thursday for developing forms of smartphone encryption so secure that law enforcement officials cannot easily gain access to information stored on the devices – even when they have valid search warrants.
His comments were the most forceful yet from a top government official but echo a chorus of denunciation from law enforcement officials nationwide. Police have said that the ability to search photos, messages and Web histories on smartphones is essential to solving a range of serious crimes, including murder, child pornography and attempted terrorist attacks.
‘There will come a day when it will matter a great deal to the lives of people .’.’. that we will be able to gain access’ to such devices, Comey told reporters in a briefing. ‘I want to have that conversation [with companies responsible] before that day comes.’
Comey added that FBI officials already have made initial contact with the two companies, which announced their new smart phone encryption initiatives last week. He said he could not understand why companies would ‘market something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law.’

This post was published at Acting-Man on September 29, 2014.


This ten part series was written by JC Collins between January 21, 2014 – April 7, 2014
The Dawn of Macroeconomic Stability ‘We are working with Congress to approve the 2010 IMF quota legislation, which would support the IMF’s capacity to lend additional resources to Ukraine, while also helping to preserve continued U. S. leadership within this important institution,’
– U. S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Mar 4, 2014. ‘An attempt to announce sanctions would end in a crash for the financial system of the United States, which would cause the end of the domination of the United States in the global financial system.’
– Russian Senior Adviser Sergei Glazyev, Mar 4, 2014.
‘We are also discussing with all our international partners – bilateral and multilateral – how best to help Ukraine at this critical moment in its history.’
– Managing Director Christine Lagarde, I. M. F., Feb 27, 2014.
This part of the series is important because it contains valuable and timely information that both confirms and builds on the concepts as presented on this site. Through seven parts we have defined the structure of the emerging multilateral SDR financial system and how it will work in theory.
Now we begin the transition from theory to practice.
I would suggest that readers first ensure they have a good understanding of the main themes and components of the other seven parts. It will make part eight that much more rewarding to read and understand. All seven links are included at the end of this post.
Ukraine is being fought over by the United States and Russia. Both countries desire to give the Ukraine a bail-out loan denominated in Special Drawing Rights. The International Monetary Fund is patiently waiting for an agreement to be made so that the process of debt restructuring and currency allocation can continue. The winner will have control over the resources and energy industry of the Ukraine and all of Europe’s natural gas supply. This will help their SDR composition in the new system.
The same process is unfolding in Syria and other regions. There is not much negotiating room left though as the clock ticks closer to the time where its either collapse or consolidation. Ukraine, like Syria, is a vital chess piece in this grand game of strategy and resource allocation.

This post was published at The Burning Platform on 26th September 2014.

Parliament and Congress Have No Power to Legalize War

Congress has fled town to avoid voting for or against a new war. Many of the big donors to Congressional campaigns would want Yes votes. Many voters would want No votes, if not immediately, then as soon as the panic induced by the beheading videos wears off, which could be within the next month. Better to just avoid displeasing anyone – other than people who notice you running away.
The standard for legal-ish cosmopolitan respectability in the U. S. now has become getting five kings and dictators to say their on your side as you start bombing a new country.
But the British Parliament is still at the level of believing an actual vote by a legislature is appropriate. Do Americans remember that their beloved founding fathers put war powers in the hands of the legislature because of the ugly history of royal wars in Britain? Times have changed.
But if we want to actually comply with the law, we have to admit that neither Parliament nor Congress has the power to legalize attacking Syria. This is because both the U. S. and the U. K. are parties to the United Nations Charter, which bans war with very narrow exceptions – exceptions that have not been in any way met.

This post was published at Washingtons Blog on September 26, 2014.

Bombing of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, Eric Holder Quits, Russia Counters Sanctions

The following video was published by Greg Hunter on Sep 25, 2014
The U. S. promises a ‘Long Campaign,’ with the bombing of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. The Obama Administration has the support of other Arab nations, but the most important support comes from Saudi Arabia. Remember last year when the Obama Administration backed out of bombing Syria. Top Saudi officials were quoted as saying that they were ‘stabbed in the back’ by President Obama. Fast forward to today and rumors of Saudi Arabia to stop using the petro dollar when selling oil. No doubt the Saudis threatened to pull the plug on the dollar. Now, it looks like this bombing deal in Syria will prolong the use of the dollar when buying and selling oil, at least for a while.
Eric Holder announced he is quitting his job as Attorney General. My question is why now? I guess it could be any number of things such as the ‘Contempt of Congress’ case that is proceeding. It could also be the ‘Fast and Furious’ case that a federal judge just ruled that there can be no more delays with providing records. It may also be the IRS targeting that, in reality, is felony First Amendment criminal activity to suppress political opponents.
The top commander of NATO says there is cease-fire in Ukraine in ‘name only.’ You have not heard much on this subject, but it too, is far from over. Russia is now drafting some new laws in response to the sanctions from the West over Ukraine. Russian lawmakers want to seize property of foreign companies inside Russia.

11th Circuit Court of Appeals panel kowtows to TSA

By a vote of two judges to one, a panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has declined to consider a petition by Jonathan Corbett for review of the TSA’s use of virtual strip search machines and ‘enhanced patdowns’ (genital groping), and has opined that if the court were to consider Mr. Corbett’s petition, it would deny it.
If that sounds irregular, it should. Normally, once a court has found a reason it doesn’t need to decide a case on its ‘merits’, but can resolve it on procedural or jurisdictional grounds, judicial economy dictates that the court won’t issue any opinion on issues it doesn’t have to reach.
In this case, the two judges in the panel majority went out of their way to erect as many barriers as possible to future court challenges to TSA actions, in contravention of normal principles of appellate adjudication and over a cogent dissent, on exactly these grounds, by the third member of the panel.
The ruling on the ‘merits’ of the petition, while bad, is not unprecedented: Every other petition for Court of Appeals review of the TSA’s virtual strip-search practices has already been dismissed. That’s largely because Congress has directed the Courts of Appeals to limit their ‘review’ of TSA orders to the ‘administrative record’ supporting the TSA’s actions, as provided to the court by the TSA itself, and to treat any ‘findings of fact’ by the TSA, ‘if supported by substantial evidence’ (and even if controverted by more persuasive evidence) as ‘conclusive’.
Conclusory declarations by TSA employees, not subject to cross-examination and allegedly based on secrets not in the record (‘if you knew the secrets we know but can’t reveal, you’d agree with us’) are almost always deemed sufficient to constitute ‘substantial’ evidence for this purpose.
In other words, the TSA gets to tell the Court of Appeals which evidence to consider, and what factual conclusion to draw from it. Given that the TSA is allowed to make up the facts to suit its own interests, and submit them to the court in secret, it’s scarcely surprising that the decisions made by the Courts of Appeal on the basis of those ‘conclusive’ factual claims by the TSA are almost invariably in the TSA’s favor.

This post was published at Papers Please on September 25, 2014.

Legal Basis for War in Syria? Amazing Three-Point Logic!

The hypocrisy of the US is on full display. We have imposed preposterous sanctions on Russia following its takeover of Crimea. Given that Crimea actually had a vote, and the vote was overwhelming, one can legitimately argue the Crimea takeover was democracy in action. Rigged or not, it’s 100% certain the vote would have gone in favor of Russia. Votes? Constitutions? Who Gives a Damn?Who gives a damn about votes? Some claim the vote was illegal by Ukraine’s constitution. But what good are constitutions anyway?The US doesn’t give a damn about the US constitution let alone the constitution of any other nations (unless of course it serves our purpose). Legal Basis for Troops in Iraq?On September 5th, the Guardian commented on the legality of US troops in Iraq: Legal basis for Iraq troop deployment called into question as days wear on.
The legal basis for the recent introduction of more than 1,000 US ground troops in Iraq was called into question on Friday, after the White House confirmed that it does not consider itself bound by time limits that usually constrain such deployments.
Under the terms of the 1973 War Powers Resolution, troop deployments into war zones may not last longer than 60 days, unless Congress explicitly authorises military force.
As no congressional authorisation yet exists – Congress returns from its August recess next week – lawyers have wondered about the solidity of the legal grounding for the latest US war in Iraq.
Obama’s ISIS Plan Legal?

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on September 25, 2014.

The Khorasans: As Fake As the Kardashians

New Boogeyman Has Already Been Debunked
Obama is now – after the fact – scrambling to justify bombing the sovereign nation of Syria without the permission of either the Syrian government or even the United States Congress by saying that we were going after the super-evil Khorasans, who were about to attack us.
My God! That sounds terrifying … like a cross between Genghis Khan, Klingons and the Kardashians!
The U. S. is saying that they’re even more dangerous than ISIS.
There’s just one wee little problem … the Khorasan threat is as as fake as the Kardashians’ physiques. (Admittedly, it’s confusing, given that the Kardashians have also inserted themselves right in the middleof the Syrian conflict.)
Agence France-Presse reports:

This post was published at Washingtons Blog on September 25, 2014.

Breaking: Eric Holder Resigning

This is just too good to be true.
From NPR:
Eric Holder Jr., the nation’s first black U. S. attorney general, is preparing to announce his resignation Thursday after a tumultuous tenure marked by civil rights advances, national security threats, reforms to the criminal justice system and 5 1/2 years of fights with Republicans in Congress.
Two sources familiar with the decision tell NPR that Holder, 63, intends to leave the Justice Department as soon as his successor is confirmed, a process that could run through 2014 and even into next year. A former U. S. government official says Holder has been increasingly ‘adamant’ about his desire to leave soon for fear that he otherwise could be locked in to stay for much of the rest of President Obama’s second term.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on September 25th, 2014.

Eric Holder Is Resigning

And now, for the best news of the day, we go to NPR which reports that Eric “Too Big To Prosecute” Holder is resigning. From NPR:
Eric Holder Jr., the nation’s first black U. S. attorney general, is preparing to announce his resignation Thursday after a tumultuous tenure marked by civil rights advances, national security threats, reforms to the criminal justice system and five and a half years of fights with Republicans in Congress.
Two sources familiar with the decision tell NPR that Holder, 63, intends to leave the Justice Department as soon as his successor is confirmed, a process that could run through 2014 and even into next year. A former U. S. government official says Holder has been increasingly “adamant” about his desire to leave soon for fear he otherwise could be locked in to stay for much of the rest of President Obama’s second term.
Holder already is one of the longest serving members of the Obama cabinet and ranks as the fourth longest tenured AG in history. Hundreds of employees waited in lines, stacked three rows deep, for his return in early February 2009 to the Justice Department, where he previously worked as a young corruption prosecutor and as deputy attorney general – the second in command – during the Clinton administration…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/25/2014.

High Cost of Bad Journalism on Ukraine

The costs of the mainstream U. S. media’s wildly anti-Moscow bias in the Ukraine crisis are adding up, as the Obama administration has decided to react to alleged ‘Russian aggression’ by investing as much as $1 trillion in modernizing the U. S. nuclear weapons arsenal.
On Monday, a typically slanted New York Times article justified these modernization plans by describing ‘Russia on the warpath’ and adding: ‘Congress has expressed less interest in atomic reductions than looking tough in Washington’s escalating confrontation with Moscow.’
But the Ukraine crisis has been a textbook case of the U. S. mainstream media misreporting the facts of a foreign confrontation and then misinterpreting the meaning of the events, a classic case of ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ The core of the false mainstream narrative is that Russian President Vladimir Putin instigated the crisis as an excuse to reclaim territory for the Russian Empire.
While that interpretation of events has been the cornerstone of Official Washington’s ‘group think,’ the reality always was that Putin favored maintaining the status quo in Ukraine. He had no plans to ‘invade’ Ukraine and was satisfied with the elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych. Indeed, when the crisis heated up last February, Putin was distracted by the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Rather than Putin’s ‘warmongering’ – as the Times said in the lead-in to another Monday article – the evidence is clear that it was the United States and the European Union that initiated this confrontation in a bid to pull Ukraine out of Russia’s sphere of influence and into the West’s orbit.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on September 24, 2014.

Obama’s Long Battle to Cut Social Security Benefits

On 12 November 2007, the great blogger ‘Mike the Mad Biologist’ headlined ‘Obama Has Lost My Vote’ and gave as his reason Obama’s having used the phrase ‘the Social Security crisis’ when there was no ‘crisis’ except in the rhetoric of Republican politicians and their aristocratic stooges who want to reduce government benefits for everyone but aristocrats.
President Obama’s plan to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, predated his becoming President, though he didn’t talk about it when he campaigned for the job. (If he had talked about it, he wouldn’t have won the Democratic nomination; and he might not even have beaten the Republican candidate, John McCain, in 2008, since no Republican Presidential candidate has ever publicly campaigned to weaken what his Party nonetheless routinely contemptuously refers to as ‘entitlements.’) Everyone had simply assumed that no Democrat would want to weaken or reduce the crowning achievements of Democratic Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson, not to mention of the Democratic Party itself. But Barack Obama wanted to do it; and he remains committed to doing it.
On 16 January 2009, four days before Obama became President, Michael D. Shear headlined in theWashington Post, ‘Obama Pledges Entitlement Reform,’ and he reported about ‘a wide-ranging 70 minute interview with Washington Post reporters and editors,’ in which Obama endorsed efforts by congressional Republicans, and ‘the Blue Dog Coalition of fiscally conservative Democrats,’ to cut Social Security and Medicare. Progressives were already disturbed at what their friends in Congress were leaking to them about Obama’s strong commitment to doing this, and so a few blog posts were issued to ring alarm bells publicly about it. Paul Rosenberg at headlined on January 17th (three days before Obama’s Inauguration), regarding ‘Obama’s ‘Mandate’ To Slash Medicare, Medicaid & Social Security,’ and he presented polls showing that the public not only didn’t want to cut any of these programs, but that 74% wanted Medicare and Medicare spending increased, and 62% wanted SS spending increased. Even 65% of self-declared ‘conservative’ Americans wanted the medical programs increased, and 62% of them wanted SS spending increased. To Obama, his plan to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, so as to fund the Wall Street bailout, was an act of political courage. (In his interview with the Washington Post, he ‘pledged to expend political capital on the issue.’) It was his long-term plan, even though the polls showed widespread opposition to it by the public. This was a matter not of expediency, but of conscience, for him: he needed to find some way to fund both theongoing Wall Street bailouts, and the massive federal debt that would be caused by the 2008 Wall Street crash and its resulting plunge in federal tax-collections; and this ‘balanced approach,’ of tax hikes and spending cuts, would be his solution to both problems.

This post was published at Washingtons Blog on September 24, 2014.

Rep. Jones on Syria Attack: ‘Why Do We Have a Constitution?’

Following the Obama administration’s decision to launch air strikes on Syrian territory without a declaration of war or authorization from Congress, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) questioned why the United States even has a Constitution anymore.
As we highlighted yesterday, the Obama administration’s legal justification for military strikes inside Syria does not come from Congress, which was not consulted, nor does it even come from the United Nations, a fall back the Obama White House used following the 2011 bombardment of Libya.
Obama’s legal framework for the campaign against ISIS in Syria rests on a 2001 authorization of military force that expressly limits military action to be used against ‘those nations, organizations, or persons’ that ‘planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.’
With Al-Qaeda having divorced itself from Islamic State, ISIS has no connection whatsoever to 9/11, meaning Obama’s legal basis for the attacks inside Syria is non-existent.

This post was published at Info Wars by PAUL JOSEPH WATSON | SEPTEMBER 24, 2014.

United States Launches Airstrikes in Syria – Real Target Is Assad

Late Monday evening, September 22, the United States began the first of its airstrikes inside Syria.
Although details are still murky about where the attacks took place and what targets were actually hit, the Pentagon has acknowledged responsibility for the bombings.
According to USA Today, Rear Admiral John Kirby stated that ‘I can confirm that U. S. military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles. Given that these operations are ongoing, we are not in a position to provide additional details at this time.’
USA Today reports that the strikes were carried out both by bomber jets and by ships firing cruise missiles. It is said that the strikes have hit about 20 ISIS targets, including what is being called ‘headquarters buildings’ for ‘militants who have based their movement in Syria.’
The attacks were not carried out with the coordination and cooperation of the Syrian government. Nor were they carried out with Syrian government permission.
While Syria has already stated that any airstrikes conducted over Syrian airspace would be considered an act of war and that Syria might very well shoot down any American planes conducting those strikes, it is as of yet unclear as to how the Syrian government will respond.
The United States has repeatedly stated that it refuses to coordinate any airstrikes with the Syrian government and responded with an Orwellian statement that it would oust Assad military if he dare defend himself against American attacks.
The attacks come after a decision made by the White House and approved by Congress on September 17, 2014, to arm and train the alleged ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels. The vote was 273-156 in favor of the $500 million plan. Of course, the bill in question was actually an amendment that was cynically attached to a bill designed to continue funding for the federal government in the short-term, ensuring maximum support from members of the House.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on September 23rd, 2014.

GAO audit confirms TSA shift to pre-crime profiling of all air travelers

A Congressional hearing last week on the so-called ‘Secure Flight’ system for ‘screening’ domestic air travelers confirmed that the TSA has completed a shift from blacklist and whitelist matching to a comprehensive real-time pre-crime profiling system that assigns each air traveler a ‘risk assessment’ score on the four-step scale we’ve previously described and which is illustrated above in the latest GAO report.
Redacted versions of three audit reports on Secure Flight by the Government Accountability Office (1, 2, 3) were made public in conjunction with GAO testimony at the hearing. According to one of those reports, ‘Secure Flight’ started out as a blacklist and whitelist matching system:
Since implementation began in January 2009, the Secure Flight system has identified high-risk passengers by matching SFPD [against the No Fly List and the Selectee List, subsets of the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB), the U. S. government’s consolidated watchlist of known or suspected terrorists maintained by the Terrorist Screening Center, a multiagency organization administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)…. To carry out this matching, the Secure Flight system conducts automated matching of passenger and watchlist data to identify a pool of passengers who are potential matches to the No Fly and Selectee Lists. Next, the system compares all potential matches against the TSA Cleared List, a list of individuals who have applied to, and been cleared through, the DHS redress process.
But that’s not how it works any more. According to the same GAO report:

This post was published at Papers Please on September 22, 2014.