Opinion

TSA Mask Mandate: Man files Lawsuit, Ends Up on Terror Watch List

Michael Faris, a helicopter maintenance supervisor, must travel every 12 days in the course of his job. The TSA mask mandate interferes with his breathing. He even has a mask exemption letter from his doctor. The TSA ignored the letter, harassed him, and caused him to miss his flight. All after he and several others filed a lawsuit against the TSA for their mask mandate. The TSA reportedly put Mr Faris on the terror watchlist.

One of the people challenging the legality of the federal mask mandate is Michael Faris, and he’s filed a motion with the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals seeking to be removed from a government terrorism watchlist he was placed on after seeking to litigate the mask requirement.

He filed his suite against the mask rule on October 19. He claims that he should be considered medically exempt from the mask requirement, which the federal regulation allows for, but that he hasn’t been able to obtain such an exemption from any airline.

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On October 21 he couldn’t check in for his flight home from Southern California to Kentucky on United Airlines. He was eventually issued an ‘SSSS’ boarding pass. Agents told Faris this meant he had likely be placed on a terrorist watchlist.”

“TSA’s action placing Mr. Faris … on its terrorist watchlist for filing this lawsuit challenging the FTMM represents the absolute worst form of vengeance against citizens exercising our First Amendment right to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” according to the court filing. “Suing TSA does not constitute a threat of terrorism nor any other risk to transportation security that warrants placement on the watchlist.”

Another passenger who filed suit against the mask mandate claims to have been placed on a watchlist as well, which they discovered after trying to check in for a Delta flight on October 26.

View From the Wing

Here’s how it all went down:

When Faris went to check in for a United Flight, the kiosk gave him a message which said “Please collect the printed document and see a United representative for further assistance.” A TSA agent responded, looked at his letter of exemption and let him enter the screening area without a mask. The boarding pass that printed out said SSSS on it, which means Secondary Security Screening Selectee. Three TSA agents walked him to the gate, but they told him he had to put on a mask (never mind the exemption letter). At that point Mr. Faris had a panic attack and fainted. He suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The TSA mask mandate went too far – the agency is tasked with security issues, not health ones.

At that point, they told him he could not fly that day since he passed out and let the flight continue without him. He ended up with a five hour delay from having to rebook a flight. He was injured on another flight previously when wearing a mask blocked his breathing and he collapsed, hitting his face on a galley cart.

“It seems awfully suspicious that just two days ago I filed suit in the 6th Circuit against TSA, then all the sudden I was put on a terrorist watchlist. I’m in a little bit of pain from the fall, I’m mentally exhausted, and I feel betrayed and belittled – completely disrespected in the sense that TSA and the airlines are making me feel like I should not be a member of society because I suffer from a medical condition that precludes me from safely wearing a mask…

As a person who has endured physical injury by the airlines due to these unconstitutional mandates, I am standing up for people like me. We cannot allow TSA to continue down the path of discriminating against Americans with medical conditions who cannot wear a face covering.”

Michael Faris to the Tampa Free Press

This could happen to anyone who bucks the Federal Mask Mandate. No airline has granted Mr. Faris a proper exemption. The other litigants in the lawsuit are worried they too, may be on the terror watchlist and subject to major harassment by the TSA.

Our own government is being weaponized against us now simply for exercising our rights of redress, a fundamental constitutional protection. This is yet another example of how incompetent the Biden Administration is. It cannot control how any of its organizations behave. Let this be a warning to all Americans: This can happen to anyone. Stop being silent and stand up against this nonsense.

Kleanthis Andreadakis of Henrico County, Virginia, lead petitioner in the 4th Circuit case against TSA’s mask mandate.

H/T Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children

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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. All of her posts on Conservative Firing Line are also posted on Uncle Sam's.

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