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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Obama's Storm Troopers: TSA Conducts 8,000 Surprise Raids Annually-- Outside of Airports

If you thought that the TSA's sexual assaults and violations of law and liberty were merely confined to airport terminals, think again. Washington's shock troops are increasingly conducting unannounced raids of U.S. citizens and their effects outside of airports. MotherJones reports:

Even your daily commute isn't safe from TSA screenings. And because the TSA is working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol, you may have your immigration status examined along with your "junk".

As part of the TSA's request for FY 2012 funding, TSA Administrator John Pistole told Congress last week that the TSA conducts 8,000 unannounced security screenings every year. These screenings, conducted with local law enforcement agencies as well as immigration, can be as simple as checking out cargo at a busy seaport. But more and more, they seem to involve giving airport-style pat-downs and screenings of unsuspecting passengers at bus terminals, ferries, and even subways.

These surprise visits are part of the TSA's VIPR program: Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response. The VIPR program first started doing searches in 2007, and has grown since then. Currently, the TSA only has 25 VIPR teams doing these impromptu searches: in 2012, it wants to get 12 more.

This is nothing less than a systematic exercise in desensitizing American citizens to unwarranted police actions, the ever-expanding reach of the "national security" state, and violations of law and liberty. There can be no mistaking the signs for even the most casual student of recent world history: fascism is coming to America.

Still not convinced? State officials from Texas, which has been leading the charge to nullify the TSA's unconstitutional police actions, are reporting the use of searches by the TSA for punitive and intimidation purposes, rather than for the purported reasons of national safety and counter-terrorism:

Texas state officials have recounted disturbing stories that highlight how the TSA is using forceful pat-downs as a form of “punishment” to those who opt out of the full body scanners.

“Let me put this delicately. I was still feeling the effects of the pat-down as I sat in my seat from New Orleans to Houston, and then Houston to Austin.” Chairman of the Texas Public Utilities Commission Barry Smitherman told Fox 7 News.

Smitherman described the groping as “aggressive” and recounted an admission by a TSA supervisor that he was being “punished” for opting out.

Texas State Rep. Barbara Nash also told Fox 7 that a TSA agent “moved my legs apart and went up my legs, all the way up, and then she made me stand a different way where she could go all the way up the front., and then all the way up the back of my dress.”

State Rep. David Simpson, who sponsored the original anti-groping bill, House bill 1937, noted “This is a sexual assault in any other activity. If that happened right now, it would be sexual assault.”

Could it possibly be any more clear that the TSA is not an instrument of national defense, but a wasteful, illegal, and indeed malicious agency of shock troops used by the Washington establishment for the purpose of humiliation and intimidation?

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
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