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TSA coming To A Neighborhood Near You

28 Dec

     From the beginning of the TSA those in control knew that they wanted to take the tactics out of the airports and spread it across the land. Tyrannies have a history of attempting to monitor and control the travel of its citizens. It would only make sense that they would want to use the TSA to monitor all forms of transportation.

“We are not the Airport Security Administration,” said Ray Dineen, the air marshal in charge of the TSA office in Charlotte. “We take that transportation part seriously.”

You need to prepared to have to confront and protest against the use of security check points everywhere from trains to highways. There was talk starting back after Sept. 11, 2001 about wanting to give citizens security ratings to be used once there are check points everywhere. Only those with the best ratings would travel unfettered. As noted before this only leads to the style of travel restrictions as used in Soviet Russia.

TSA screenings aren’t just for airports anymore

Roving security teams increasingly visit train stations, subways and other mass transit sites to deter terrorism. Critics say it’s largely political theater.

Rick Vetter was rushing to board the Amtrak train in Charlotte, N.C., on a recent Sunday afternoon when a canine officer suddenly blocked the way.

Three federal air marshals in bulletproof vests and two officers trained to spot suspicious behavior watched closely as Seiko, a German shepherd, nosed Vetter’s trousers for chemical traces of a bomb. Radiation detectors carried by the marshals scanned the 57-year-old lawyer for concealed nuclear materials.

When Seiko indicated a scent, his handler, Julian Swaringen, asked Vetter whether he had pets at home in Garner, N.C. Two mutts, Vetter replied. “You can go ahead,” Swaringen said.

The Transportation Security Administration isn’t just in airports anymore. TSA teams are increasingly conducting searches and screenings at train stations, subways, ferry terminals and other mass transit locations around the country.

“We are not the Airport Security Administration,” said Ray Dineen, the air marshal in charge of the TSA office in Charlotte. “We take that transportation part seriously.”

The TSA’s 25 “viper” teams — for Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response — have run more than 9,300 unannounced checkpoints and other search operations in the last year. Department of Homeland Security officials have asked Congress for funding to add 12 more teams next year.

According to budget documents, the department spent $110 million in fiscal 2011 for “surface transportation security,” including the TSA’s viper program, and is asking for an additional $24 million next year. That compares with more than $5 billion for aviation security.

TSA officials say they have no proof that the roving viper teams have foiled any terrorist plots or thwarted any major threat to public safety. But they argue that the random nature of the searches and the presence of armed officers serve as a deterrent and bolster public confidence.

“We have to keep them [terrorists] on edge,” said Frank Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University in Washington. “We’re not going to have a permanent presence everywhere.”

U.S. officials note that digital files recovered from Osama bin Laden‘s compound in Pakistan after he was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs in May included evidence that the Al Qaeda leader had considered an attack on U.S. railways in February 2010. Over the last decade, deadly bombings have hit subways or trains in Moscow; Mumbai, India; Madrid; and London.

But critics say that without a clear threat, the TSA checkpoints are merely political theater. Privacy advocates worry that the agency is stretching legal limits on the government’s right to search U.S. citizens without probable cause — and with no proof that the scattershot checkpoints help prevent attacks.
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Posted by on December 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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