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TSA Searches Expand as Opposition Mounts
As travelers and state governments across America fight back against invasive screening by the Transportation Security Administration at airports, the TSA is actually expanding its operations covering busses, trains, ships, ferries, subways, and even highways. But critics, who say the methods are unconstitutional and often constitute sexual assault, are up in arms.
A popular movement that began picking up steam last year called for a boycott of air travel until the routine violations of Fourth Amendment rights were halted. “We will not be abused simply for the privilege of purchasing your services,” a group known as We Won’t Fly notes on its website. “We are eager to fly again, but only when this invasive threat has been contained.”
But now, that might be a moot point. Americans are increasingly likely to be subjected to groping, document checks, and the so-called “porno” naked body scanners no matter how they choose to travel.
Roving bands of TSA workers have been swarming bus stations and other transportation hubs since late 2005. But recently, the TSA has been expanding its use of what it dubs “Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response” (VIPR) teams nationwide. In fact, they are quickly becoming ubiquitous.
“The teams provide a random, announced, high-visibility surge into a transit agency, in addition to enhancing agency resources during special events,” the TSA explains on its website. As early as 2007, the agency threatened to “expand the VIPR concept beyond the rail sector to other forms of mass transit.”
TSA boss John Pistole, whom columnist Becky Akers referred to as “the pervert most responsible for the agency’s sexual violations of passengers,” is now seeking to massively increase the budget for “VIPR” programs. Testifying before Congress earlier this month, Pistole explained that his 25 teams had performed more than 8,000 “operations” during the last year.
But more are needed to “deter” terrorists, he insists. The agency’s 2012 budget request asks taxpayers to fund another 12 VIPR teams. In 2009, the 10 existing bands of roaming TSA workers were costing Americans $30 million. If Pistole gets his way, the 37 squads will be charging taxpayers almost $110 million next year.
Of course, critics have been attacking the TSA, and the VIPR teams in particular, for years. The liberty-oriented Cato Institute’s Jim Harper noted years ago that VIPR was “sinking its fangs into Americans’ civil liberties,” citing a TSA “sting” operation against innocent Americans at a bus terminal in Florida.
“The natural illogic of VIPR stings is that terrorism can strike anywhere, so VIPR teams should search anywhere,” he wrote. “It’s the undoing of the Fourth Amendment, and it’s unwarranted counterterrorism because it expends resources on things that won’t catch or deter terrorists. Indeed, VIPR ‘stings’ may encourage terrorism because they show that terrorism successfully undermines the American way of life.”
Originally posted by HenryPatrick
The fact still remains that even a large group of TSA agents doesn't stand a chance against an army of a few thousand (if that!) pissed off civilians...the sooner the sheeple wake up and figure that out, the better.
Originally posted by DAVID64
I decided a while back that if this ever makes it into the schools, I will home school mine and make sure the principal and school board know why. This Nazi crap is getting out of hand FAST. It seems like the more power they are given, the more excuses they give for wanting more. THIS IS GERMANY IN THE 30s. This is not America anymore, this is a police state in the making and it won't be much longer till they have a camera in our homes. Think that's stretching it a bit? Wait and see. Unless we elect a president with some guts that will put these DHS and TSA agents out of a job, we are looking at 1984. Give them 5 - 10 years [ if that long ] and you will be showing your papers at every street corner.