Theodore's World: Obama's TSA Nominee Southers LIED To Congress About Accessing Confidential Records

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January 03, 2010

Obama's TSA Nominee Southers LIED To Congress About Accessing Confidential Records

TSA nominee misled Congress about accessing confidential records

The Washington Post

Southers’s admission that he was involved in a questionable use of law enforcement background data has been a source of concern among civil libertarians, who believe the TSA performs a delicate balancing act in tapping into passenger information to find terrorists while also protecting citizens’ privacy.

Southers first described the episode in his October affidavit, telling the Senate panel that two decades ago he asked a San Diego Police Department employee to access confidential criminal records about the boyfriend. Southers said he had been censured by superiors at the FBI. He described the incident as isolated and expressed regrets about it.
The committee approved his nomination Nov. 19. One day later, Southers wrote to Lieberman and Collins saying his first account was incorrect. After reviewing documents, he wrote, he recalled that he had twice conducted the database searches himself, downloaded confidential law enforcement records about his wife’s boyfriend and passed information on to the police department employee, the letter said.

It is a violation of the federal Privacy Act to access such information without proper cause. The law says that "any person who knowingly and willfully requests or obtains any record concerning an individual from an agency under false pretenses shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than $5,000."

Though two Senate committees have endorsed him, and he received recommendations from other law enforcement officials, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) recently held up his approval because of concerns that Southers would support the unionization of TSA workers.

A spokesman said Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) will work quickly to overcome DeMint's procedural block and force a vote when the Senate reconvenes this month.

In questioning before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Southers has said he understands the need to balance security and privacy.

Said Collins: "You have taken responsibility for your actions. You've acknowledged your mistake in the personal conversation that we had in my office. It is important that the public have confidence that government officials will not misuse the authority that they have."

She added: "If you're confirmed, you're going to have the access to databases that have personal information on many, many individuals, such as through the secure flight program, and it's going to be important for the public to have confidence that you would not, in any way, misuse your access to the personal information in those databases. So, let me first ask you: Have you ever in the past misused your access to databases that the government maintains, other than this one incident that led to this censure?"
"No, Senator, I have not," Southers replied.

Wild Thing's comment........

Amazing, this offense would automatically and permanently disqualify him for a regular GS type job, but he is able to be considered for a Cabinet position. IN fact of all the people in Obama's cabinet, administration and his freaking CZAR's. not a single nominee for any position, has been a person of integrity, intelligence, or courage to do the right thing. They are all corrupt individuals with nefarious goals.

Even more amazing, someone with absolutely no leadership experience and a background that is the antithesis of everything America supposedly stands for can be elected president! It STILL boggles my mind.

On the VERY POSITIVE side, every crisis, Obama creeps ever more closely to a nervous breakdown. I don't think he ever was really connected to reality in the first place. The world simply doesn’t work like he thinks. Sitting in an ivory tower, it’s easy to imagine a bold new world. But national abasement and negotiation does not bring world peace, and producers won’t long support “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need.”

It’s a great tribute to this country that we have survived such reckless leadership for as long as we have. How long before an American city is reduced to ashes or our economic system collapses outright
He is amazingly disconnected from reality at this point and apparently fearful of returning to Washington to face questions much less criticism.

Posted by Wild Thing at January 3, 2010 04:45 AM


A typical obama appointee. There seemingly has to be some lack of integrity type baggage in their background. Makes you wonder if Southers was brought into the FBI under the affirmative action program.

Posted by: TomR at January 3, 2010 11:40 AM

"On the VERY POSITIVE side, every crisis, Obama creeps ever more closely to a nervous breakdown."

Thats an excellant point, WT. When you look at Abama's history, he's a complete mess. He comes from a completely dysfunctional family. He's mixed race, He was bounced around as a child from Parents, to Parent, to Parents again then to grand Parents, his associations were mostly Anti-American or in some way corrupted, Frank Marshall Davis, his mentor, not only was a communist but also a Child molestor. There's nude pictures of his Mother on the internet. This guy has a huge load of mental baggage to carry around.It could be a question of time before he explodes...but hey, that's the best the deomos could do. Sadly, very sadly enough of the country bought it to get him elected.

Posted by: Mark at January 3, 2010 12:05 PM

This is a little off post but needs a serious

More Smoke and Mirrors from the Obama Administration

Posted By Blackfive

We started this new year off with a post from Greyhawk at the Mudville Gazette showing the consequences (for our soldiers) when political football is played with a Brigade Combat Team and our military.
Next, this story is getting more and more viral every day - Steve Schippert at has uncovered an Executive Order from President Obama giving Interpol immunity within the United States of America. Steve's post is a must read. [Although I initially thought that the need for the EO was to protect the intelligence in Interpol from our media (ie leaking information about terror or organized criminal activities).]
ANOTHER Presidential Executive Order was released on the 29th of December. Ace of Spades PA read through it and found that it makes the Obama administration appear to be more open but actually has the ability to be more secret. Go read this post.

Posted by: Gator at January 3, 2010 12:23 PM

Rev Wright's Chickens!!!

Posted by: Jack at January 3, 2010 02:30 PM

Tom, yesss I agree.

Mark, well said.

Gator, that is right, I posted about the
Immunity Obama has given Interpol and it is shocking that he did this.
Thanks for sharing that all of this is being discussed around in the other blogs too. And thank you for the added information too.

Jack, yess good one!! That is what it is.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 3, 2010 11:36 PM

Screw o'vomit having a nervous breakdown, I'm hoping he has a fatal aortic aneurism.

Posted by: Eddie (Enemy of the State) at January 4, 2010 11:59 AM