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Air Marshals Score Victories

After a protracted campaign over several years, federal air marshal whistleblowers have scored two crucial victories within their agency, ABC News reported yesterdayA memo (pdf) from new Federal Air Marshal Service head Dana Brown lays it out: The dress code and hotel reservation policies have been changed which will improve the ability of air marshals to preserve their anonymity.

No longer will air marshals be required to wear clothing that makes them stick out like a popped-collar preppie in South Central L.A.  They'll be able to wear clothing at their own discretion to blend in.  So, say they're on a flight to Hawaii, they can decide to wear Hawaiian shirts and shorts, rather than a black three-piece business suit. 

And air marshals will be able to book reservations at hotels of their choice.  Previously, air marshals stayed at the same hotels where rosters of marshals staying at a particular hotel were often kept in public view, according to ABC.

Though these battles have been won, the war to keep air marshals anonymous still has a ways to go.  The current boarding procedures still make marshals overly vulnerable to identification.

By: Nick Schwellenbach
Director of Investigations, POGO

Nick Schwellenbach At the time of publication, Nick Schwellenbach was Director of Investigations for the Project On Government Oversight.

Authors: Nick Schwellenbach

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