TSA Takes Over a Bus Stop

Last Friday 15 TSA agents joined officers of the Houston Police Department, the Harris County Sheriff's Office, the METRO Police Department, and the Precinct Seven Constable's Office in "a synchronized, counter-terrorism exercise that focused on bus stops and shelters and transit centers." (Write On Metro, Multi-Agency Sting Operation on Rail & Bus Successful, h/t @frankbynum.)

No actual terrorists were found in this exercise, in which officers "performed random bag checks, conducted sweeps with our K-9 drug and bomb-detecting dogs, and assigned both uniformed and plainclothes officers at transit centers and rail platforms to detect and prevent criminal activity," but the glut of officers made "quality" arrests, including eight felony arrests.

The TSA agents were from TSA's VIPR (the METRO blog renders it "viper"), or Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams.

VIPR teams are the next step in screwing up America's transportation system. They have been seen violating passengers' rights at train stations, as in Savannah (Amy Alkon, Advice Goddess Blog, Is Being a Moron a Requirement for a Government Job?); bus stops follow logically, and then highway checkpoints and truck stops, until the goal is achieved of making it impossible for Americans to move freely about their country.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas District 18), a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, called this a new era for the TSA, and a new era for surface transportation security.

"We're looking to make sure that the lady I saw walking with a cane…knows that METRO cares as much about her as we do about building the light rail," said Jackson Lee at the news conference.

I don't think I'm going to like this new era very much.

(On the bright side, it gives me an issue that I'm willing to go to jail over.)

About Mark Bennett

Mark Bennett got his letter of marque from the Supreme Court of Texas in May 1995. He is famous for having no sense of humor when it comes to totalitarianism.
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9 Responses to TSA Takes Over a Bus Stop

  1. Justin T. says:

    I’m especially bothered by the fact that they brought in drug dogs on a supposed terrorism exercise. I didn’t realize you could blow up a building with a bag of weed. Good thing we have the TSA to keep us safe from the dangers of stoners and their Hostess cakes.

  2. Ric Moore says:

    “Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don’t want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

    Hermann Goering Quote
    I don’t think I’m going to like this new era very much, either.

  3. Michael Stuart says:

    I *already* don’t like this new era.
    I haven’t liked it since September 12, 2001…when “everything changed”.

    DHS is simply the advance guard of the bankster’s army, here to put the iron in the fist of their takeover.

    The country’s broke. Just as they are doing with Greece, they are preparing to exchange real assets–that is, the amber waves of grain, the fruited plains, the shining seas, and you and me–for the fiat debt-money they’ve foisted on us.

    We’re tax cattle. And DHS is here to wield the cattle-prods ensuring there are no uppity cows in the herd.

    As you said Mark, this WILL progress to roadside checkpoints. It’s happened already in Kentucky and Dallas. It will be “Ihre papieren, bitte!”, but without the “bitte” because we seem to have a ruder bunch of thugs than the Nazis could produce.

    Indeed, over the last year we’ve eliminated all doubt as to their intentions:
    * indefinite detention for Americans
    * suspension of habeas corpus
    * murder of Americans purely at “executive discretion”–or is that an oxymoron?
    * the military under UN command, complete with the executive announcing to the Senate via the loathsome Panetta that their services in directing war would no longer be required

    We’re so far past the rule of law I don’t trust the system to uphold any objection to its own power any more.

    • Michael Stuart says:

      Ah sorry forgot–

      a) Posse comitatus is dead, dead, dead
      b) in re highway checkpoints–DHS just ordered over 600 million rounds of ammunition, and thousands of bulletproof inspection booths used to man road-blocks.

      It’s on.

      But my countrymen slumber is blissful ignorance, discussing sports scores.

  4. John David Galt says:

    Hasn’t it been shown that TSA agents are not really cops?

    When they show up at the station where I get on the train, I’ll arrest them for violating my civil rights. Somebody should have done this by now.

  5. Dan Terrill says:

    Mark,

    Any idea what the penalty is for someone who refuses to submit to these searches?

    • Mark Bennett says:

      Refusal to consent is not an offense, but resisting a search is a Class A misdemeanor. Texas Penal Code ยง 38.03:

      RESISTING ARREST, SEARCH, OR TRANSPORTATION. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally prevents or obstructs a person he knows is a peace officer or a person acting in a peace officer’s presence and at his direction from effecting an arrest, search, or transportation of the actor or another by using force against the peace officer or another.
      (b) It is no defense to prosecution under this section that the arrest or search was unlawful.
      (c) Except as provided in Subsection (d), an offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
      (d) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree if the actor uses a deadly weapon to resist the arrest or search.

      • Michael Stuart says:

        Ah–but that’s a peace officer, or in the presence of one and at his direction.

        If they’re neither, I think it’s more nebulous.

      • Dan Terrill says:

        Thanks, Mark. So in those random bag checks are optional, even though they no doubt act like that isn’t the case?

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