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Just in Time for the Holidays: Air Marshals’ “Mutiny” Looms Large, as the DHS Redeploys Them from Commercial Flights to the Border

The Biden Administration has made a controversial decision to transfer numerous U.S. Air Marshals to the southern border to assist Border Patrol.

The marshals were redeployed to the border on the instruction of DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who earlier this month refused to acknowledge that there was an emergency at the border during congressional hearings, claiming that “the border is secure.”

Those marshals who have already been diverted are believed to be doing menial non-law-enforcement duties, such as hospital surveillance, transportation, and even janitorial tasks. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) denies the “menial” nature of the shifts, saying that the definition is “entirely inaccurate and does not reflect the critical and professional law enforcement role these officers perform.”

In an article published by the Washington Examiner, the head of the Air Marshal National Council said that a “mutiny” is brewing among federal marshals concerned about the safety of air travel during the busiest travel time of the year.

“The rank and file air marshals are going to refuse to deploy and risk termination,” stated David Londo, president of the Air Marshal National Council, during a telephone conversation with the Washington Examiner on Tuesday. “You're almost going to have a mutiny of a federal agency, which is unheard of.”

The plan would result in just one federal agent for every 100 domestic flights, or only one-eighth of the usual air marshal force in the air.

In a letter addressed to the Examiner, Londo revealed that the scheme has dramatically lowered morale and that agents are contemplating termination in response to the alleged violation of their originally assigned duties.

“Morale is so destroyed from this,” said Londo, whose organization functions more as an association than a union. “I've never seen anything like this.”

Air marshals would be at risk of losing their jobs as inflation continues to rise and the United States potentially heads into recession.

The council's head also wrote a letter to Secretary Mayorkas in which he warned of the dangers of leaving the “friendly skies” largely unmonitored during the holiday season.

“According to the Federal Aviation Administration year to date there have been 2,178 reports of unruly passengers, 767 investigations initiated, and 517 enforcement actions taken. Not to mention the fact there have been two attempted attacks on our homeland since 9-11 during the holiday season,” the letter states. “Your policy has resulted in a complete loss of confidence in Secretary Mayorkas, FAM Director Stevenson, and Administrator Pekoske’s ability to lead DHS/TSA/FAMS.”

Londo highlighted in his letter the recent violent passenger attacks midflight involving weapons smuggled aboard the plane, as well as a cockpit breach on a Southwest Airlines flight last week.

In fact, the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) has offered its support to air marshals and challenged the direction of DHS.

“The Federal Air Marshal Service is understaffed and covering the fewest number of flights since before September 11, 2001,” stated NAPO, the alliance that includes more than 1,000 police departments across the nation. “We strongly question the decision by the Department of Homeland Security to divert much-needed aviation security to the southern border especially as we enter the busiest travel season of the year, particularly as a Federal emergency has not been declared at the border.”

The rationale behind this move by Biden's DHS is baffling. Secretary Mayorkas did not offer an elaborate defense to any accusations but did take time to deny that federal air marshals had been performing janitorial duties.

With a potential air-marshal revolt on the horizon, the council is cooperating with the DHS Office of Inspector General to motivate an investigation by the federal government into the issue.

The possibility of an air-marshal mutiny comes on the heels of the news that a major railway-worker strike may be looming within the next few months, increasing the likelihood of national turmoil in the event that Americans start to move around and purchase products across the country.

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