Discount May Cost Marshals Their Cover

Travelers checking into budget hotels near major airports might be surprised to find themselves standing next to undercover federal air marshals. They’ll be the guests asking for “the air marshals’ discount.” So much for working undercover. Under a new policy, when air marshals travel they will have to stay at a short list of selected hotels. They also will be required to identify themselves as air marshals to receive a special rate their agency has negotiated with the innkeepers — a greater discount than the regular government price. That, as many air marshals see it, is the latest bureaucratic blow to their effort to maintain security and keep terrorists from identifying them. OODA Analyst

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