Thursday, August 23, 2012

TSA Groping: It's Not Just for Airports Anymore

Yesterday I pointed you towards a provocative article written last spring by the former head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Kip Hawley. The article ("Why Airport Security Is Broken—And How To Fix It") contained an honest presentation of the TSA's worst mistakes while also providing common sense ideas of how to make the system less cumbersome, less annoying, and yet more efficient. Good stuff.

But the fact remains that the TSA, like any other government agency of our increasingly pugnacious Nanny State, is getting frighteningly out of hand. Pun fully intended.

Here, reported by Steve Watson over at, is another case of the TSA leaving the airport in order to give pat-downs (and the subsequent willies) to American citizens...on the street!

For some time we have been warning that the TSA is systematically moving beyond the nation’s airports and conducting operations on the streets of America.

The latest example of this kind of activity occurred at an event organized by Mitt Romney’s GOP running mate Paul Ryan this past weekend in The Villages, Florida.

The Shark Tank blog reports that TSA officers showed up alongside Secret Service and the local Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, and proceeded to do what they do like no one else does... “We heard that the TSA was going to expand its ummm, ‘reach,’ but to assist in political campaigns is quite the jump in broadening their ‘transportation security horizons.’ I counted no less than 6 TSA agents alongside the usual uniformed Secret Service detail..."

As we have previously documented, airport security style checkpoints and inspection procedures are already in place at bus terminals, train stations, and are rapidly being expanded to the streets of America. Agents have even been spotted roaming around at public events such as sports games and music concerts, and even at high school proms.

The TSA even moved beyond its own borders this summer as agents were dispatched to airports in London for the Olympic Games.

The TSA has also announced its intention to expand the VIPR program to include roadside inspections of commercial vehicles...These internal checkpoints, run by Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation, and the TSA, involve trucks being scanned with backscatter x-ray devices in the name of “safety” and “counter terrorism”.

Homeland Security is also developing technology to be used at “security events” which purports to monitor “malintent” on behalf of an individual who passes through a checkpoint.

Since its inception in the US after 9/11, the TSA has grown in size exponentially. The agency was slammed in a recent congressional report for wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on security theatre.

If people think they can avoid the TSA by staying away from airports, they’re going to be in for a rude awakening. TSA is clearly engaged in a total takeover of society and plans to have its agents searching, patting down, scanning and harassing Americans at all levels of society, not just at transport hubs but at public events, in the street and on highways and roads across the country...