This AP article is interesting. Yesterday the a Department of Homeland Security inspector general released a report indicating that the TSA had “misinformed” individuals, the public and congress in 2003 and 2004 regarding its obtaining passenger data for use in developing its airline passenger screening programs (CAPPS II and, presumably, Secure Flight). The report states that “TSA officials made inaccurate statements regarding these transfers that undermined public trust in the agency” and that “[t]hese misstatements were apparently not meant to mischaracterize known facts. Instead, they were premised on an incomplete understanding of the underlying facts”.
The report identifies a number of the instances in which the TSA provided “misinformation,” but it sugar-coats its findings by stopping just short of saying that TSA lied. However, it appears to me from the instances cited that lying is exactly what the TSA did, whether intentional or unintentional. Unfortunately, the revelations contained in this report can only make things more difficult for the TSA in obtaining GAO approval for its Secure Flight program. As I indicated in my March 23, 2005 post, according to the GAO this approval is quite a ways off.