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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.
While two-out-of-five Americans are going to try to avoid air travel this holiday season to avoid TSA pat-downs, strip searches and never-ending security line-ups, they might not find comfort in the glimmering Greyhound stations across the US.
Don’t think a bus or train ticket will keep Uncle Sam from making your vacation this year uncomfortable. The Transportation Security Administration says that they are turning up the heat on potential problem-causers by installing more agents in not just airport checkpoints but in terminals for terrestrial traffic as well.
"We are not the Airport Security Administration," Ray Dineen, the air marshal in charge of the TSA office in Charlotte, tells the Los Angeles Times. "We take that transportation part seriously."
How serious? The TSA’s secret counter-terrorism team that tries to topple crimes in transportation centers have run more than 9,000 unannounced checkpoints and other search operations in 2011, and the Department of Homeland Security are asking for an extra $24 million for 2012 to organize even more teams to put in bus stations and Amtrak terminals next year.
Currently the TSA commands 25 “viper” teams — what they call the two-dozen-plus Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response units that conduct the checkpoints from coast-to-coast. The TSA can’t prove that the increase in 2011 did anything to keep crime down on the ground, but George Washington University’s Homeland Security Police Institute’s Frank Cilluffo tells the Times that they need to keep the terrorists “on edge.”
As a result, however, millions of law-abiding Americans that rely on public transportation to get around — whether plane, train or bus— are also being agitated. 93 million residents are expected to use airplanes to get around this holiday season, but more and more Americans are saying they are fed up with the intrusive and questionably legal procedures that the government is conducting to try to thwart terrorism. Even after recent weeks saw a scandal brew out of New York’s JFK International Airport after three elderly passengers complained in just as many days of overzealous pat-downs performed by the TSA, the Administration announced that “the vast majority” of travelers this year can expect to see increased security in airport
Opponents of the increased security presence don’t see it as a safety precaution, however, and some say that it is only propelling America further into a totalitarian police state.
“This program represents nothing less than a direct assault on the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution,” Jay Stanley of the American Civil Liberties Union wrote on Tuesday. “It’s also an exceedingly dumb security measure. But never underestimate the mindless force of a government bureaucracy seeking to expand its power, domain, and budget.”
From a legal standpoint, the TSA fires back that “the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld suspicious-less searches based on the government’s need to ensure the safety of mass transportation,” recalling a handful of court cases that support the fact. That being said, if you feel like a surprise pat-down while waiting for your bus isn’t only out of the question but against the law, the TSA is ready to take you to court and win.
Congress To Fund Massive Expansion Of TSA Checkpoints
Congress is set to give the green light on funding for a massive expansion of TSA checkpoints, with the federal agency already responsible for over 9,000 such checkpoints in the last year amidst increased fears America is turning into a police state following the passage of the ‘indefinite detention’ bill.
The increase in funding has nothing to do with the TSA’s role in airports – this is about creating 12 more VIPR teams to add the federal agency’s 25 units that are already scattered across the country and responsible for manning checkpoints on highways, in bus and train terminals, at sports events and even high school prom nights.
Woman: TSA officer confiscated frosted cupcake
(AP) PEABODY, Massachusetts - A woman says an airport security officer in Las Vegas confiscated her frosted cupcake because he thought the icing on it could be explosive.
Rebecca Hains tells WCVB-TV the Transportation Security Administration agent took her cupcake, telling her its frosting was "gel-like" enough to constitute a security risk. The TSA has restrictions on taking liquids and gels onto flights to prevent them from being used as explosives.
Hains says she had passed through security at Boston's Logan International Airport with two cupcakes packaged in jars. But she says she was stopped Wednesday on her return from Las Vegas with one of them.
TSA spokesman Nico Melendez says the agency is reviewing the situation. He says passengers are allowed to take cakes and cupcakes through checkpoints.
Stop paying attention to Al Jones, or at least stop taking everything he says seriously.
. Besides the fact its a 6 year old getting patted down, what was "bad" about that experience? First off, the parents dont have to give the tsa permission to search their child, you can travel by other means. I get it, its ridiculous to pat down a 6 year old, but some morons think they can hide their recreation on their child. You dont have to fly, its a business.. You can drive.. You can charter a plane.. I get these arent feasible, and patting her down is stupid... And trust me.. I was dreading it on the way. I made it clear to my wife I wasnt letting them touch my child, and if it came down to it, we wouldnt go on vacation.. I could easily not allow them and negotiate, or leave and file a civil suit.. I dont have to allow it..
Originally posted by Corruption Exposed
reply to post by Myendica
I'm glad you had a pleasurable experience, regrettably this girl wasn't so lucky:
Originally posted by MaxJohnson
Already a thread about it here:www.abovetopsecret.com...
. Majority of roads in the us are private roads. People think they are public, but they arent. So for them to search your personal vehicle, you can refuse.. Just like real life, they need a warrant. If your on public roads, which are few and far between, and most of which are highways, they can set up road blocks and search you. Once again, its public, so authority feels the need to protect "public". The tsa cannot, and will never be able to stop Your vehicle, and search your belongings, without a warrant. No your rights. If you feel so strongly against the tsa, do something about it, dont just throw links around and videos.. Actually do something. Petition.. Hire lawyers, file suits, lobby laws.. Until then, play by the rules.. Dont make yourself a target... The day of revolution is coming my friends.. Until then, hide in plain site.
Originally posted by theRhenn
Wait... It'll eventually get down to your own personal vehicles soon, too. Then, I wonder if the same laws apply to them as they do to state troopers.. Cant do a stop and search (DWI - checkpoints) UNLESS the stops are done in order.. every 5th car.. ect. Stops cannot be random as that is illegal in some places, like Louisiana. Bet these guys can get passed that too.
*sigh* They're gonna have a field day with me, should it come down to personal vehicles.