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CNN Reporter Put On Watch List After Criticizing TSA

Big Sis has a history of pursuing political witch hunts

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Friday, December 3, 2010

In light of new reports alleging that the TSA is creating a watch list of individuals who criticized the agency as a form of collective punishment, it’s revealing to note that CNN journalist Drew Griffin was also put on a TSA watch list immediately after he filed reports critical of the organization back in 2008.

As we highlighted earlier this week, a reported TSA memo was circulated at the height of last month’s opt out controversy which “officially addresses those who are opposed to, or engaged in the disruption of the implementation of the enhanced airport screening procedures as ‘domestic extremists’.”

In response to the story, former Congressman Bob Barr filed a Freedom of Information Act request which demanded to know if the TSA had categorized those leading the charge against invasive security measures, namely Matt Drudge, Alex Jones, and John Tyner, via the websites drudgereport.com and prisonplanet.com, as “domestic extremists”.

There can be no doubt whatsoever that Homeland Security has engaged in political witch hunts against Americans critical of big government. Earlier this year, Big Sis was caught spying on Tea Party groups as well as State Representative Daryl Metcalfe.

The TSA itself has also listed journalists critical of its policies as potential terrorists, ostensibly as a punishment and a warning to other reporters that if they broadcast anything negative about the agency then they will be bracketed together with Al-Qaeda members and be forced to endure copious amounts of hassle and harassment every time they wish to fly.

Shortly after he began a series of investigative reports that were critical of the TSA in May 2008, CNN journalist Drew Griffin was placed on a watch list that at the time had swelled to over a million names. TSA claimed that he was unfortunate enough to share the name with another Drew Griffin who had been legitimately placed on the list, but then denied that he was on the list altogether and blamed the airlines. The airlines responded by saying they were merely following a list provided to them by the TSA.

“Coincidentally, this all began in May, shortly after I began a series of investigative reports critical of the TSA,” said Griffin. “Eleven flights now since May 19. On different airlines, my name pops up forcing me to go to the counter, show my identification, sometimes the agent has to make a call before I get my ticket,” Griffin reported. “What does the TSA say? Nothing, at least nothing on camera. Over the phone a public affairs worker told me again I’m not on the watch list, and don’t even think that someone in the TSA or anyone else is trying to get even.”

Given the fact that the TSA has made a habit out of deceiving the American people and spinning the truth about airport security, the notion that Griffin was deliberately targeted by the TSA as a punishment for his critical reports about the agency is almost a given.

The fact that the TSA curtailed its so-called ‘imperative’ security measures for several days around Thanksgiving as a political ploy to deflate the opt out day protest shows that the agency will go to any lengths to deflect criticism.

The TSA has now announced that it will check the name of every traveler against a government watch list 72 hours before they fly, greasing the skids for “domestic extremists” who exercise their first amendment right to speak out against the TSA to be harassed and hindered.

Former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff was later confronted on the Griffin case by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. Chertoff parroted the TSA line in claiming that Griffin merely had the same name as another suspected terrorist.

The outcome of Bob Barr’s FOIA request is eagerly awaited as it will give an insight into how the TSA responded internally to the national outrage surrounding body scanners and pat downs, while also giving an indication as to whether people like Matt Drudge and Alex Jones were placed on a watch list for having the temerity to stand up to children being sexually molested by low-paid thugs in uniforms.

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show. Watson has been interviewed by many publications and radio shows, including Vanity Fair and Coast to Coast AM, America’s most listened to late night talk show.

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