The check in and boarding procedures
currently employed by FAMS areunacceptable to ensuring the anonymity of federal air marshals."
* * *
The shooting death … is legally justified
in light of the surrounding circumstances presented to the air marshals. It should benoted that both air marshals demonstrated remarkable restraint."
, the Miami State Attorney's office determined that theDecember 2005 shooting of an American Airlines passenger by federal air marshalswas legally justified.
* * *
People are terrestrial creatures
… suited for surface living. When they venture abovethe surface of the earth, they encounter certain difficulties. Those are most directly related to flying and the change inbarometric pressure."
• A marshal in the program's Charlotte,N.C., field office filed a report
critical of theprogram's handling of health issues in July2005.
* * *
The manner of dress should allow you to blend in
and not direct attention toyourself, as well as be sufficiently functional to enable you to conduct your law enforcement responsibilities, and effectively conceal your duty equipment."
• In two emails sent to marshals in thesummer of 2006, Dana Brown, the director of the program, discusses low morale
* * *
I'm very appreciative of the time
that somany of you have dedicated to helping me
But building and maintaining the force in recent yearshas been an uneasy ride. Marshals have griped that it'sunhealthy flying four or more flights a day and say the job is a monotonous rut that doesn't lead toadvancement. Another big complaint: Their cover can beeasily blown, particularly when they go through specialboarding procedures.Budgetissuesled to a hiring freeze, and in some casesresulted in heavier schedules and fewer flights covered. Government oversightbodies, including the House JudiciaryCommittee and Homeland Security'sInspector General, raised concerns as towhether the marshals were able to dotheir jobs effectively.Some marshals say many of their colleagues have quit, although agencyofficials say defections have beenminimal. But Dana Brown, the currentdirector, concedes that the program's$700 million budget wasn't enough tosustain any new hires between July 2002and fall 2006.In an interview, Mr. Brown said the agencychallenges are largely due to growingpains. "It's the equivalent of having amom-and-pop or good small business thatworked very well and overnight it turnedinto a large Fortune 500-type corporationwith many more issues than it hadpreviously," he said. Mr. Brown is nowtaking steps to address the marshals'complaints.The job is a stressful mixture of tediumand high pressure. Marshals have made59 arrests since 2001 and drawn their weapons only twice -- once shooting aman dead. In the end, none of theincidents were found to be related toterrorism.Last summer, their secretive operationscame into rare public view after Northwest Airlines Flight 42 lifted off from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport on Aug. 23for a nearly nine-hour flight to Mumbai,India. Less than two weeks earlier, Britishauthorities had foiled an alleged trans- Atlantic airliner bombing plot, and officialswere on high alert. A group of 11 Indian passengers on Flight42 attracted the attention of flightattendants and one undercover marshalwhen they allegedly didn't follow crewmember instructions while boarding.Shortly after the DC-10 left the runway,