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Thread: T.S.A. Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security

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    T.S.A. Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security

    As hundreds of commuters emerged from Amtrak and commuter trains at Union Station on a recent morning, an armed squad of men and women dressed in bulletproof vests made their way through the crowds.

    The squad was not with the Washington police department or Amtrak’s police force, but was one of the Transportation Security Administration’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response squads —VIPR teams for short —assigned to perform random security sweeps to prevent terrorist attacks at transportation hubs across the United States.

    “The T.S.A., huh,” said Donald Neubauer of Greenville, Ohio, as he walked past the squad. “I thought they were just at the airports.”

    With little fanfare, the agency best known for airport screenings has vastly expanded its reach to sporting events, music festivals, rodeos, highway weigh stations and train terminals. Not everyone is happy.

    T.S.A. and local law enforcement officials say the teams are a critical component of the nation’s counterterrorism efforts,but some members of Congress, auditors at the Department of Homeland Security and civil liberties groups are sounding alarms. The teams are also raising hackles among passengers who call them unnecessary and intrusive.

    “Our mandate is to provide security and counterterrorism operations for all high-risk transportation targets, not just airports and aviation,” said John S. Pistole, the administrator of the agency. “The VIPR teams are a big part of that.”

    Some in Congress, however, say the T.S.A. has not demonstrated that the teams are effective. Auditors at the Department of Homeland Security are asking questions about whether the teams are properly trained and deployed based on actual security threats.

    Civil liberties groups say that the VIPR teams have little to do with the agency’s original mission to provide security screenings at airports and that in some cases their actions amount to warrantless searches in violation of constitutional protections.

    “The problem with T.S.A. stopping and searching people in public places outside the airport is that there are no real legal standards, or probable cause,” said Khaliah Barnes, administrative law counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington. “It’s something that is easily abused because the reason that they are conducting the stops is shrouded in secrecy.”

    T.S.A. officials respond that the random searches are “special needs” or “administrative searches” that are exempt from probable cause because they further the government’s need to prevent terrorist attacks.
    T.S.A. Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security - NYTimes.com

    Yet another governmental agency using the terrorism threat to circumvent the U.S. Constitution and harass American citizens without probable cause.

    I sure hope the "I'm okay with it" meme crowd is against these practices.

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    Re: T.S.A. Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security

    Quote Originally Posted by Jango View Post
    T.S.A. Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security - NYTimes.com

    Yet another governmental agency using the terrorism threat to circumvent the U.S. Constitution and harass American citizens without probable cause.

    I sure hope the "I'm okay with it" meme crowd is against these practices.
    If you're not doing anything wrong, why do you care about something that has the potential to save your life? I've never understood the mindset, frankly. If they'd have been in the right place at the right time, the Boston bombing could have been prevented. We live in a complicated world. Strangers are trying to annihilate us. I wish they'd walk around with portable metal detectors. Might get some illegal guns off the streets.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

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    Re: T.S.A. Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security

    Quote Originally Posted by Jango View Post
    T.S.A. Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security - NYTimes.com

    Yet another governmental agency using the terrorism threat to circumvent the U.S. Constitution and harass American citizens without probable cause.

    I sure hope the "I'm okay with it" meme crowd is against these practices.
    Well I hope they start doing home sweeps. I mean, won't someone please think of the children!
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
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    Re: T.S.A. Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    If you're not doing anything wrong, why do you care about something that has the potential to save your life? I've never understood the mindset, frankly. If they'd have been in the right place at the right time, the Boston bombing could have been prevented. We live in a complicated world. Strangers are trying to annihilate us. I wish they'd walk around with portable metal detectors. Might get some illegal guns off the streets.
    Terrorist #1 is our own government. Look at what we've excused and let government usurp. Our own rights, yes, but the infinity war, the big brother data basing and watching, more aggressive policing, more people in jail, etc. It's disturbing to say the least that the government pays no mind to the natural constraints placed upon it and that others will trumpet the loss of freedom. This is 1984 but if you think that it's good and that this level of government keeps us safe, I'll be left to wonder what is going to keep us safe from the government.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: T.S.A. Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    If you're not doing anything wrong, why do you care about something that has the potential to save your life? I've never understood the mindset, frankly. If they'd have been in the right place at the right time, the Boston bombing could have been prevented. We live in a complicated world. Strangers are trying to annihilate us. I wish they'd walk around with portable metal detectors. Might get some illegal guns off the streets.
    So I assume you are for the NSA spying as well right? I mean, if you aren't doing anything wrong you shouldn't care about something that can "potentially" save your life right? What's next? Support for strip searches and cavity checks before boarding a plane, train, or even local bus or government office? It could save your life.

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    Re: T.S.A. Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNextEra View Post
    So I assume you are for the NSA spying as well right? I mean, if you aren't doing anything wrong you shouldn't care about something that can "potentially" save your life right? What's next? Support for strip searches and cavity checks before boarding a plane, train, or even local bus or government office? It could save your life.
    I wonder how many aggression apologists would be OK with random searches of their house and property. I mean, if you're not doing anything wrong it should be OK, right?
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: T.S.A. Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    I wonder how many aggression apologists would be OK with random searches of their house and property. I mean, if you're not doing anything wrong it should be OK, right?
    (That's strange that the system picked up a different quote than you posted...you must've edited it.)

    At any rate, the government can search my home any time it presents me with a good reason to do so -- a missing child . . . looking for illegal guns . . . looking for illegal drugs . . . I couldn't care less. If I were doing something illegal, then I'd demand a warrant.

    Edit: That's weird. There must be a lag between when users see edits 'cause we're on the same page now. Hmmm.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

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    Re: T.S.A. Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    (That's strange that the system picked up a different quote than you posted...you must've edited it.)

    At any rate, the government can search my home any time it presents me with a good reason to do so -- a missing child . . . looking for illegal guns . . . looking for illegal drugs . . . I couldn't care less. If I were doing something illegal, then I'd demand a warrant.
    Why does it need a good reason? Why can't they just check? You're not doing anything wrong, are you?
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: T.S.A. Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Why does it need a good reason? Why can't they just check? You're not doing anything wrong, are you?
    I believe I already answered that.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

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    Re: T.S.A. Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security

    Quote Originally Posted by Jango View Post
    T.S.A. Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security - NYTimes.com

    Yet another governmental agency using the terrorism threat to circumvent the U.S. Constitution and harass American citizens without probable cause.

    I sure hope the "I'm okay with it" meme crowd is against these practices.
    I remember taking a bus from daytona to miami. Got on the bus with no security at all. The Bus stops in orlando and we all have to get off for a cleaning, and I go for a smoke. I got searched on the way back in by the the security people there who were with the TSA. It made no sense considering had i had a bomb it would have been in the bus the whole time. I could have been transporting a bomb and gotten searched by the TSA and they would have never found it because my luggage was never checked. That is not security.

    I hope the TSA does not get involved in Amtrak. Taking the train is a great way to travel. Still, it is not out of the ordinary to see what looks like military people at larger train stations. I am not sure if they are TSA or something else, but it would seem Penn Station in NYC has constant military presence and has for years now. I have a feeling much more of this is about the war on drugs rather than the war on terror.

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