Walter Williams began his recent syndicated column (June 18) by admitting he hasn't flown commercially in five years, a declaration that makes clear his lack of personal experience with the subject matter.

In the column, Mr. Williams alleged, based on what he said he read in an article last year, that his fear of arrest would make him a target of Transportation Security Administration behavior detection officers.

Nonsense.

These officers identify potentially high-risk passengers based on involuntary physical and physiological reactions that people exhibit when trying to conceal deception. Disgust is not among these behaviors, despite Mr. Williams' assertion. A fear of flying, or in Mr. Williams' case, a general — and misguided — fear of arrest, will not raise the suspicions of our well-trained officers.

Behavior detection worked a few months ago when our officers spotted a man behaving suspiciously at Orlando International Airport. Police found he had a ticket for an Air Jamaica flight as well as several bombmaking components in his luggage.

Mr. Williams challenged us to provide evidence of terrorists stopped. Perhaps he has missed the extensive news coverage of an ongoing trial in London, in which various individuals are charged with plotting to blow up multiple commercial airliners over the Atlantic.

Americans expect that TSA will keep them safe when they fly, and that's precisely what motivates the men and women of TSA. Mr. Williams will undoubtedly benefit from their work and commitment the next time he chooses to fly.


Christopher White is with the Transportation Security Administration.