Air Marshal Sues Homeland Security Chief
By JEREMIAH MARQUEZ, Associated Press WriterThu Apr 21,10:23 PM ET
A federal air marshal on Thursday sued Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to block government rules that prevent him from speaking out about possible security lapses.
The federal complaint, filed in Riverside by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, claims the rules infringe on Frank Terreri's free speech rights.
Terreri, 38, objects to policies he believes threaten aviation security, lawyers said. Among his concerns are visible flight check-in procedures and a formal dress code that could compromise marshals' undercover status, and news stories approved by federal administrators about training and tactics.
Restrictions imposed in August 2002 prohibit airline security agents from criticizing other Federal Air Marshal Service employees, speaking publicly and releasing information about the agency, the lawsuit said.
David Adams, an air marshal spokesman, said officials had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment on any pending cases.
Terreri was unavailable for comment because of the rules, his attorneys said.
Terreri, a Southern California resident based at an Irvine field office, was taken off flight duty last October after he allegedly complained to colleagues in an e-mail that a People magazine story about an air marshal posed a safety risk because it discussed operational details.
The discipline also followed strong criticism about agency policies by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, whose air marshal unit is headed by Terreri.
The organization has called for the resignation of air marshal service director Thomas Quinn, who is also named in Terreri's suit.
Copyright © 2005 The Associated Press.
Homeland Security's idiot decisions and short-sighted rules become more a joke as time goes by. The problem is that with things like the above, they're also becoming a danger to the nation in their own way.
What do you think, Sam?