Shocking Alliance: Tucker Carlson Slams TSA Facial Recognition Overreach With Founder Of Blackwater

On my Facebook timeline I scrolled past Tucker Carlson commenting on the TSA’s introduction of facial recognition at airport security checkpoints. Aside from Carlson going to Russia and fawning over Hungarian strongman Viktor Orban, I hadn’t seen much from him in awhile. He doesn’t pop up in my social media feeds.


How much of the TSA screening protocol is actually required? Tucker shares his experience of TSA overreach with Erik Prince.

♬ original sound – Tucker Carlson Network

And here’s the thing that stuck out to me (aside from it being a TikTok clip, I keep getting confused over whether Carlson and Trump are pro-Chinese social media or against it). The video is described as “Tucker shares his experience of TSA overreach with Erik Prince.”

  • Erik Prince is the founder of Blackwater, which fired on civilians in Iraq and had contractors convicted of manslaughter and murder.
  • The FBI investigated him for violating a Libyan arms embargo.
  • He was part of a CIA murder task force that went after terrorist suspects.
  • After things got too hot here, he ran foreign troops for the UAE and he sold jets and other military hardware to South Sudan.
  • He’s Betsy DeVos’s brother, so related by marriage to Amway.

And he’s… chatting with Tucker Carlson about how bad TSA facial recognition is? Civil liberties concerns surely make strange bedfellows.

There was a move to enshrine a legal right to opt out of TSA facial recognition in the recent FAA Reauthorization bill. The amendment didn’t make it in – killed by TSA lobbying.

TSA’s current policy is to allow passenger opt out, but wanted this left to their own discretion rather than requiring them to honor it. At some point, presumably, it will no longer be optional – probably even before REAL ID is ever actually enforced.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Who listens to Tucker Carlson. FOX got rid of him when he knowingly spread lies about the 2020 election & defamed people causing them to get death threats. This caused FOX to have to pay a huge multimillion dollar fine.
    Anyone who is a friend to Putin, China, despot leaders is not a Patriot and a threat to the U.S.

  2. I generally lean libertarian in most things, but I don’t actually understand the logic here. We lost our ability to fly anonymously a long time ago, and already have to submit our secure flight info. I’m fairly certain that Tucker is a PreCheck member, so he submitted additional info to the government voluntarily. In addition, there is no law prohibiting the government from using facial recognition via any of the 9 million other cameras spread throughout the airport, so why the uproar about the one at the TSA check point? It’s the one place that it actually benefits us (by making the security theater slightly faster and less inconvenient).

  3. We are both Global Entry. At our age (70’s), we are not concerned for, or troubled by, any further gubmint overreach or intrusion into our lives.

  4. Speaking for myself , ( disabled ) , I am against the facial recognition , and I am also against the skeleton x-ray body scans , voice recognition , dna tests , dog sniffing inspections , masks , etc.

  5. I’m libertarian but also not a privacy zealot. Frankly I don’t understand the argument against implementing technology (my entire career was in IT). If it improves processes or helps keep us safe I’m all for it. People have a misunderstanding on “privacy” just like with the 1st amendment. There is no right of privacy in a public space (someone can even stand in the road or sidewalk and video you in your yard if they want unless there are local laws against it). Also, there is no “right to fly”. Gary speaks to a right to travel but that doesn’t mean anyone and everyone has the right to go to an airport or fly on a plane. Obviously you can’t discriminate on race, nationality, gender, etc but if you don’t comply with background checks (PreCheck and GE), facial recognition, etc you can be denied access. I’m also for broader use of cameras in public (like most of the rest of the world) as well as redlight cameras. If you aren’t doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about and, as stated before, there is no right of privacy in a public space.

  6. Facial recognition doesn’t make planes safer in any single way. It’s just a way to track us. Someone motivated to do something bad is going to figure out a way around it while us sheep just get getting our privacy torn to shreds for no reason.

  7. @Ryan – Of course, facial recognition is a way to track us, but whether or not we use it to pass through the TSA checkpoint has nothing to do with that.
    1. You’re already being tracked when they scan your boarding pass. It clearly tells them exactly when you cleared security and can be cross-referenced with the dozens of cameras at the checkpoint.
    2. You’re already being recorded by hundreds of cameras in the airport. Nothing in federal law prohibits the government from using facial recognition to track you via any or all of those cameras.
    Given both of these facts, what difference does it make if we use facial recognition to make TSA slightly less annoying? If you want to ban facial recognition altogether without a warrant, I am 100% with you, but trying to address one specific camera is a dumb and pointless endeavor.

  8. Biometrics including facial recognition and carry-on baggage algorithms like Delta Digital ID (from Verisign, Pangiam and both part of are security enhancing but also expedite screening in ways we should welcome.

  9. Arguments both ways, but for once I agree with Alert. The problem is that any governments–and it really doesn’t matter its economic or political base–will tend to grow and use whatever means are available to increase its power. Sometimes their reasons are acceptable, sometimes they are simply “just because it’s there.” The danger is when the control becomes excessive, and while nobody might have a “right” to fly they should in America have a right to freely travel within our own country without question.

    There is an excellent book, “They Thought They Were Free,” which was interviews with Germans in the late 1940s on how they let control of their country be taken over by truly satanic people. Now the U.S. isn’t the Third Reich, but the principle doesn’t change. Look up “excerpts” from the book for more, but here is one of the best:

    “To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.”

  10. By a surprise, if there’s a bad decision to make, Tucker is on it. Genocides need their supporters

  11. @drrichard … +1 . Thank you for the book referral . Ira Levant in Canada has been writing much the same , regarding the Trudeauists , and how their freedoms are diminishing bit by bit .

  12. It is the person who is voluntarily putting his face, photos, and videos on all the media and social media he is allowed out there that is complaining about facial recognition!!
    That’s rich!
    That would be laughable if there was not such a brainwashed crowd still listening to this idiot.

  13. @drrichard … I misremembered … actually EZRA Levant in Canada is the good read on the diminution of our freedoms .

Comments are closed.