Skip to comments.Police State TSA is Trucking Right Along
Posted on 11/01/2011 6:52:47 AM PDT by WXRGina
The idea of safety or security is a powerful tool in the collection of emerging dictatorial governments that are not yet able or willing to use outright force to crush the entire population into compliance with the freedom-robbing desires of the rulers of the state. How many freedoms and liberties have we already willingly given up for securitys sake? How much more burdensome is air travel in the wake of 9-11, because we simply had to crack down on dangerous, old ladies leaning on walkers and potential terrorist toddlers in diapers? Our blossoming police state is growing scarier by the dayall in the name of security, of course.
We see examples of it everywhere, and one is local police road blocks where each driver is stopped and required to show license and proof of insurance. Here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, we live by an intersection where Gulfport Police routinely set up road blocks. This makes my husband furious as we watch them doing this on any random night. But here comes the argument: They do this to keep drunk drivers off the roadfor safety. Then, why not patrol the roadways looking for someone driving erratically? Why create these police state checkpoints that punish everyone who happens to be doing nothing more innocuous than driving down the road?
These road blocks can quite easily result in Fourth Amendment violations, but I guess that is no real concern of the authorities. The legality of sobriety checkpoints varies from state to state with some states like Michigan, Idaho, Iowa, Texas and a number of others declaring sobriety checkpoints to be illegal. Mississippi, South Dakota and numerous other states have ruled sobriety checkpoints to be legal. In a loosening of the definition of unreasonable search and seizure, the United States Supreme Court ruled that sobriety checkpoints are not a violation of our Fourth Amendment rights. I happen to disagree with that ruling.
Police road blocks and checkpoints are one part of the encroaching police state; federal authorities actions, like those of the TSA, are another part. Constitutional Attorney and author John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute is well-versed on this subject, and in a report from this past July, he lays the truth bare as he writes,
The transition to a police state will not come about with a dramatic coup detat, with battering rams and marauding militia. As we have experienced first-hand in recent years, it will creep in softly, one violation at a time, until suddenly you find yourself being subjected to random patdowns and security sweeps during your morning commute to work or quick trip to the shopping mall.
Perhaps you have yet to experience the particular thrill, and I use that word loosely, of being manhandled by government agents, having your personal possessions pawed through, and your activities and associations scrutinized. If so, not to worry. Its only a matter of time before more and more Americans will experience such a military task force knocking at their door. Only, chances are that it wont be a knock, and they might not even be at home when government agents decide to investigate them. Indeed, as increasing numbers of Americans are discovering, these so-called soft target security inspections are taking place whenever and wherever the government deems appropriate, at random times and places, and without needing the justification of a particular threat. Worse, not only is this happening with the blessing of the Obama administration but at its urging.
What Im describingsomething that was once limited to authoritarian regimesis only possible thanks to an unofficial rewriting of the Fourth Amendment by the courts that essentially does away with any distinctions over what is reasonable when it comes to searches and seizures by government agents. The rationale, of course, is that anything is reasonable in the war on terrorism. What the powers-that-be understandand Americans remain oblivious tois the fact that by constantly pushing the envelope and testing the limits of what Americans will tolerate, the government is thus able to ratchet up the level of intrusiveness that Americans consider reasonable.
Mr. Whiteheads piece is right on the money, and he reported on the increasing of the TSAs presence out of the airports and into so-called soft targets like bridges, malls and bus and subway stations. Now the TSA snakes are on the loose on our roadways in the form of Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams, with the appropriate acronym of VIPR.
Mr. Whitehead describes VIPR,
Now, thanks to TSA Chief John Pistoles determination to take the TSA to the next level, there will soon be no place safe from the TSAs groping searches. Only this time, the ritualized humiliation [of American citizens] is being meted out by the serpentine-labeled Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) task forces, comprised of federal air marshals, surface transportation security inspectors, transportation security officers, behavior detection officers and explosive detection canine teams. At a cost of $30 million in 2009, VIPR relies on 25 teams of agents, in addition to assistance from local law enforcement agencies as well as immigration agents. And as a sign of where things are headed, Pistole, himself a former FBI agent, wants to turn the TSA into a national-security, counterterrorism organization, fully integrated into U.S. government efforts. To accomplish this, Pistole has requested funding for an additional 12 teams for fiscal year 2012, bringing VIPRs operating budget close to $110 million.
You may have seen a story from mid-October that proudly touted Tennesseeas being the very first state to employ VIPR teams at several locations across the state. One news station, News Channel 5, Your News and Information Leader, carried the proud headline, "Tennessee Becomes First State To Fight Terrorism Statewide. The entire news article reads like a press release from the TSA itself. Nowhere in the column was there even a hint of opposition to this intrusive action by the TSA and Tennessee authorities.
The news columns author, Adam Ghassemi, dutifully reports,
Youre probably used to seeing TSAs signature blue uniforms at the airport, but now agents are hitting the interstates to fight terrorism with Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR).
Where is a terrorist more apt to be found? Not these days on an airplane more likely on the interstate, said Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons.
Tuesday Tennessee was first to deploy VIPR simultaneously at five weigh stations and two bus stations across the state.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol checked trucks at the weigh station with drug and bomb sniffing dogs during random inspections.
Tuesdays statewide VIPR operation isnt in response to any particular threat, according to officials.
[TSA Federal Security Director for Nashville International Airport, Paul] Armes said intelligence indicates law enforcement should focus on the highways as well as the airports.
So, according to a Tennessee Homeland Security spokesmouth, a terrorist is more apt to be found on the interstate than on an airplane? Is that so? Based on who we know the terrorists are and what they do, I would say terrorists are more apt to be found in mosques than on either airplanes or interstates. If the TSA is truly serious about combating terrorism, then why do we not see them sicking their VIPRs on major mosques in the United States?
What we are seeing is not a serious effort to combatlet us call it what it isIslamic terrorism, but rather, it is a concerted effort to get American citizens used to accepting ever-increasingly burdensome intrusions into our personal lives. We are not supposed to question the TSAs declaration that intelligence indicates law enforcement should focus on the highways as well as the airports. We are simply to lie down and take it. Next, they will say intelligence indicates we need to send the VIPRs slithering into football stadiums, malls, high school and college campuses, or even Broadway shows. Who is to question their intelligence?
In fact, we have already seen numerous examples of TSA abuses since its creation, and it does not look like we are going to see the TSA reined in by anyone in our government anytime sooncertainly not as long as the current communist Democrat administration is in power.
Looking back at Mr. Whiteheads eagle-eyed take on the TSA and their pet VIPR teams, we see a chilling future of police state surveillance and loss of individual liberty here in America. This is by design of the powers that be as they work to create a malleable, sheepish public that mutely accepts being groped, scanned and searched without cause.
Mr. Whitehead writes,
The question that must be asked, of course, is who exactly is the TSA trying to target and intimidate? Not would-be terrorists, given that scattershot pat-down stings are unlikely to apprehend or deter terrorists. In light of the fact that average citizens are the ones receiving the brunt of the TSAs efforts, it stands to reason that weve become public enemy number one. We are all suspects. And how does the TSA deal with perceived threats? Its motto, posted at the TSAs air marshal training center headquarters in the wake of 9/11, is particularly telling: Dominate. Intimidate. Control.
Those three words effectively sum up the manner in which the government now relates to its citizens, making a travesty of every democratic ideal our representatives spout so glibly and reinforcing the specter of the police state. After all, no government that truly respects or values its citizens would subject them to such intrusive, dehumanizing, demoralizing, suspicionless searches. Yet by taking the TSAs airport screenings nationwide with VIPR and inserting the type of abusive authoritarianism already present in airports into countless other sectors of American life, the government is expanding the physical and psychological scope of the police state apparatus.
TSA and VIPR searches also indoctrinate children to accept pat-downs, full-body scans, and the like, as a regular component of the relationship between government and its citizens. In this way, police state tactics will gradually grow in acceptance as simply the way things are. A child who has been molested by government officials since before he could read is unlikely to question such activities as an unjustified exercise of authority when an adult.
Furthermore, the normalization of intrusive searches arguably reworks the content of the protections provided by the Constitution, particularly the Fourth Amendment. Increasing use of pat-downs and other controversial screening procedures changes the definition of what is a reasonable search and seizure from a cultural perspective and therefore actually re-engineers the constitutional fabric by altering the definition of what is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.
As with the advanced state of decay in the morality of our culture, I wonder if we will be able to stop and reverse the growth of the police state in America. I have serious doubts that we can. It is not that I am just a doomsayer here, but when you look back in history, when have you ever seen a nation make a U-turn after having gone as far down the road of cultural depravity as we have, while a rapidly growing cancer of a government voraciously devours the rights of the people? It just does not happen.
As Mr. Whitehead closes his column, so will I,
In effect, VIPR paves the way psychologically for the implementation of totalitarian apparatuses of control. Furthermore, by entrenching frequent, intrusive searches in the American mindset as an unquestioned component of everyday life, programs like VIPR actually serve to reduce the level of protection afforded citizens by the Constitution. And once VIPR has accrued a sufficient bureaucracy, it will be virtually impossible to eradicate.
In the 21st century, how does a govt increase security without giving up some freedoms and liberties?
Considering that this police state installation is being done by a regime who actively refuses to enforce immigration laws and attacks any State government who does try to enforce them, the goal is clear. USSA here we go.
It is the biggest mastake made in the wake of 911
Im sure the law & order crowd will be by any time now to explain why all this is good for us.
Absolutely, they know they can’t take a FREE country like ours & shove it all on us at once, so slowy they are indoctrinating us to getting used to these intrusive searches.
John Pistole is a piece of fascist garbage.
He should be in a prison cell and passed around from prisoner to prisoner as they each give him their own version of an “enhanced patdown.”
Just say NO! to the Terminally Stupid Agency, the Department of Fatherland Security, and the American Police State!
How about the same way it's been done in past centuries right here in America? Quit pussy-footing around, and take out the bad guys!
The other thing to take into consideration is that the DHS was created under GW Bush our illustrious GOP president. So don’t look for the GOP to push for controlling TSA or the DHS. They love power as much as the progressives do. I used to believe that the GOP would save us from this encroaching tyranny but now I think only CW2 or some kind of a grid down situation will be able to shake things up enough to get the average american off their duff and ready to restore their freedoms. For all intents and purposes we have already morphed into a more sophisticated version of the USSR.
THE UCC CONNECTION / Howard freeman
This is slightly condensed, casually paraphrased transcript of tapes of a seminar given in 1990 by Howard Freeman. It was prepared to make available the knowledge and experience of Mr. Freeman in his search for an accessible and understandable explanation of the confusing state of the government and the courts. It should be helpful to those who may have difficulty learning from such lectures, or those who want to develop a deeper understanding of this information without having to listen to three or four hours of recorded material.
The frustration many Americans feel about our judicial system can be overwhelming and often frightening; and like most fear, eventually, with the seemingly tyrannical power of some governmental agency and the mystifying and awesome power of the courts. We have been taught that we must “get a good lawyer,” but that is becoming increasingly difficult, if not impossible. If we are defending ourselves from the government, we find that the lawyers quickly take our money, and then tell us as the ship is sinking, “I can’t help you with that - I’m an officer of the court.”
Ultimately, the only way for us to have even a “snowball’s chance ” is to understand the RULES OF THE GAME, and to come to an understanding of the true nature of the Law. The attorney lawyers have established and secured a virtual monopoly over this area of human knowledge by implying that the subject is just too difficult for the average person to understand, and by creating a separate vocabulary out of English words of otherwise common usage. While it may, at times, seem hopelessly complicated, it is not that difficult to grasp - are lawyers really as smart as they would have us believe? Besides, anyone who has been through a legal battle against the government with the aid of a lawyer has come to realize that lawyers learn about procedure, not about law. Mr. Freeman admits that he is not a lawyer, and as much, he has a way of explaining law to us that puts it well within our reach. Consider also that the framers of the Constitution wrote in language simple enough that the people could understand, specifically so that it would not have to be interpreted.
So again we find, as in many other areas of life, that “THE BUCK STOPS HERE!” It is we who must take the responsibility for finding and putting to good use the TRUTH. It is we who must claim and defend our God-given rights and our freedom from those who would take from us. It is we who must protect ourselves, our families and our posterity from the inevitable intrusion into our lives by those who live parasitically off the labor, skill and talents of others.
To these ends, Mr. Freeman offers a simple, hopeful explanation of our plight and a peaceful method of dealing with it. Please take note that this lecture represents one chapter in the book of his understanding, which he is always refining, expanding, improving. It is, as all bits of wisdom are, a point of departure from which to begin our own journey into understanding, that we all might be able to pass on to others; greater knowledge and hope, and to God: the gift of lives in peace, freedom and praise.
“I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove.”
I was asked to testify in a tax case as an expert witness. After many days of preparation, I felt confident of my research. I spent over 30 minutes presenting many Supreme Court decisions that supported the defendant’s position. The prosecution concluded his statements, and to my amazement, the judge told the jury that they could only consider certain facts, none of which were the facts I had given.
As soon as the trial was over I went around to the judge’s office and he was just coming in through his back door. I said, “Judge, by what authority do you overturn the standing decisions of the United States Supreme Court. You sat on the bench while I read that case law. Now how do you, a District Judge, have authority to overturn decisions of the Supreme Court?” He says. “Oh, those were old decisions.” I said, “Those are standing decisions. They have never been overturned. I don’t care how old they are; you have no right to overturn a standing decision of the United States Supreme Court in a District Court.”
PUBLIC LAW V. PUBLIC POLICY
He said, “Name any decision of the Supreme Court after 1938 and I’ll honor it, but all the decision you read were prior to 1938, and I don’t honor those decisions.” I asked what happened in 1938. He said, “Prior to 1938, the Supreme Court was dealing with Public Law; since 1938, the Supreme Court has dealt with Public Policy. The charge that Mr. S. was being tried for is a Public Policy Statute, not Public Law, and those Supreme Court cases do not apply to Public Policy.” I asked him what happened in 1938? He said that he had already told me too much - he wasn’t going to tell me any more.
-—————————————————————————————— Read the rest at the link above.
Exactly, the GOP is NO different than the dems. Its hard to understand why they have such a large following here.
The police state will move forward under both Republican and Democrat regimes.
That's right. We've been watching it happen for decades now.
“The other thing to take into consideration is that the DHS was created under GW Bush our illustrious GOP president. So dont look for the GOP to push for controlling TSA or the DHS. They love power as much as the progressives do. I used to believe that the GOP would save us from this encroaching tyranny but now I think only CW2 or some kind of a grid down situation will be able to shake things up enough to get the average american off their duff and ready to restore their freedoms. For all intents and purposes we have already morphed into a more sophisticated version of the USSR.”
I used to think Republicans could save us as well, but they are as much a part of the problem as Democrats. Republicans might even be worse because they talk about limited government yet when they are in power have consistently increased the power of government. There is a reason for this, it is because both parties are owned by the bankers. Since we have a system where debt is money, government must keep growing, debt must keep growing to keep the system from collapsing. No change to limited government can be made under the current Federal Reserve System.
You don't give up freedoms and liberties, otherwise you end up in a police state. How long before the government can just come into your home and search you any time they want? How long before you need permission to travel? Once these systems are in place they will grow as government always grows. They will be used to stop political opponents of the current regime rather than used to stop “terrorists”.
How do you know who the bad guys are? You either wait for them to do something bad, or you check and see if they have something bad with them, right?
I do a lot of road traveling like drive cross country several times each year. I know right now, the worst I deal is I get stopped for a traffic violation like speeding or window tint since some states don’t exempt out of state drivers from their tint law.
Now the question, how intrusive are the TSA going to get. Are they going to become a federal equivalent of a highway patrol? Are they going to stick with commercial traffic like truckers and weight stations or actively patrol the roads and stop whoever ? Are they going to go as far as not only doing vehicle searches but also do vehicle inspections such as cite you for equipment infractions ?
Funny thing, I am leaving for a trip this weekend to drive from Colorado to Indiana and then leave my car there and fly back.
In the so-called "war on terror," we know who the bad guys are. We would do well to secure our borders and stop immigration from Arab countries immediately and focus our efforts on the mosques in America.
One major problem we also have is the disintegration of our national identity and the flood of illegal aliens and other aliens who refuse to assimilate. We even have serious issues with anti-American sentiment in this nation among American citizens who have not been taught our correct history.
There is no easy answer, but dispensing with "politcal correctness" would be a good start.
I understand that clearly, how do you think security should be increased that wouldn’t infringe on people’s freedoms?
You believe all Muslims are terrorists?
No. But most all terrorists are Muslim, and I don't hear much condemnation of Muslim terror crimes from the "non-terrorist Muslims, either.
If indeed the premise that 'security' should be 'increased' is valid, then it should fall to each person to increase their 'feeling' of security, e.g. "An armed society is a polite society."
The weak look for others to take care of them. The time is long past to start reclaiming responsibility for ourselves. Arming oneself and learning to use a weapon effectively is the only real security. It also doesn't infringe on other people's freedoms.
Anything else is nanny state Bovine excrement.
The security increases are not effective and potential terrorists will simply go around them, therefore I do not think there should be increased security where masses of law abiding Americans are searched in violation of their 4th Amendment rights.
So nothing should be done?
What about those that feel there is no need to increase their ‘feeling’ of security? Or those that ‘feel’ we need more? How do you balance the govts response to both of them?
What good does personal weapons do against explosive devices in a mall, or shipping containers at the docks?
“So nothing should be done?”
Way to set up a straw man! No one said nothing should be done. We currently run everyone through metal detectors which no one is objecting to. We do object to the growing police state. The purpose of which isn’t to stop terror, its to take away freedoms of law abiding Americans. Rather than my try to prove a negative, why don’t you tell us how random searches on the highway, patting down six year olds and grandmas, questioning law abiding people at the airport about where they are going, who they are visiting will help us avoid a terrorist attack?
“What about those that feel there is no need to increase their feeling of security? Or those that feel we need more? How do you balance the govts response to both of them?
What good does personal weapons do against explosive devices in a mall, or shipping containers at the docks?”
I think we need to have the TSA pay you a visit at your house so they can search your belongings and computer. You obviously have thought through a potential attack and so you are suspect.
It looks like the TSA confiscated all your paragraph breaks....
I asked that because you never answered #16
Sorry, I meant #20
Good evasive technique
How does port security infringe on my personal rights? It doesn't.
VIPR checkpoints on the highway infringe.
Your strawman is weak.
Are you weak? Do you need a strong nanny watching over you?
What about the guys that are transporting those explosives to the mall? How would anyone know, if not for an informer and vehicle checks?
How many more freedoms are you ready to infringe for your ‘security’?
Get real stuart.
Without freedom you HAVE no security.
If you advocate the 100% elimination of ‘risk’ you are a loon.
You propose that All vehicles be searched to make they are not carrying explosives to the mall? How often? Every mile? 5 miles? But then, what is to stop me from just detonating the gas tank after driving thru the front doors?
Maybe that is why the FedGov is pushing electric cars. But then, I could use THAT car to drive thru a Kindergarten classroom, so we need 15 mph limiters.
You position yourself close to the liberal line of thinking stuart.
...and without security, you have no freedom. Sounds like a conundrum.
What is your solution to those guys heading towards the mall or their like?
Where did I say anything about advocating anything, much less 100% of risk?
I didn’t propose anything of the sort, did I?
Yes you did. You seem to WANT an all powerful police presence to make sure nothing bad happens.
You worry about bombing a mall. So, then stuart, how do you propose to stop such a thing from happening? Because I can guarantee you, regardless of how difficult you make life, a determined person can amke it happen.
So I ask you again, how much more of your freedom are you willing to sacrifice? How about armed guards in front of homes, denying exit to all except during normal hours and with registered government escort? After all, it would help keep the children safe.
Please show the thread # where I said that.
You seem to WANT to read things into what I’ve said, don’t you? Why is that?
I have no idea what the solution is, I leave that up to the people that have the intel and assets to do something about it. If I don’t like it, I try to change it through my voteing, otherwise, I live with what there is.
YOu argue AGAINST freedom and FOR security. And your posts lend credence to the idea that you would welcome security, even at the expense of all your freedom.
It is my opinion that security comes with a well defended country of free people. Let Fed Gov defend the borders, keep the bad guys out. Let the states and locals deal with the ‘internal’ issues.
In my opinion, we do not punish crimes, especially the capital type, nearly harshly or publicly enough.
You put up straw man arguements such as “So you believe all Muslims are terrorists?” Apparently to try to trap someone into a ‘racist’ moment. Yet, as has been pointed out, the vast majority, coming very close to ALL, terrorists have been Muslim. Fine, then Muslims need to be looked at. Might not be PC, yet it IS the intelligent thing to do.
You have no idea what the solution is, yet your posts seem to lean towards the belief that freedoms are a bad thing that need to be given up so you can be safe. Not a sound position to have, IMHO.
Quick question do you work for the Federal Government?
Quick question, do you work for the Federal Government?
Not a sound position to NOT take things as people write them, but instead apply your thinking to what others say. IMHO
Nope, I’m a contractor.
How would I know what they would do, besides, you answered your own question.
You place your words here for consideration and interpretation. It is what it is.
Yes it is, but one should ask about their meaning, instead of making assumptive statements.
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