TSA Now Storming Public Places 8,000 Times a Year
By Tara Servatius
Americans must to decide if, in the name of homeland security, they are willing to allow TSA operatives to storm public places in their communities with no warning, pat them down, and search their bags. And they better decide quickly.
Bus travelers were shocked when jackbooted TSA officers in black SWAT-style uniforms descended unannounced upon the Tampa Greyhound bus station in April with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and federal bureaucrats in tow.
A news report by ABC Action News in Tampa showed passengers being given the signature pat downs Americans are used to watching the Transportation Security Administration screeners perform at our airports. Canine teams sniffed their bags and the buses they rode. Immigration officials hunted for large sums of cash as part of an anti-smuggling initiative.
The TSA clearly intends for these out-of-nowhere swarms by its officers at community transit centers, bus stops and public events to become a routine and accepted part of American life.
The TSA has conducted 8,000 of these security sweeps across the country in the past year alone, TSA chief John Pistole told a Senate committee June 14. They are part of its VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) program, which targets public transit related places.
All of which is enough to make you wonder if we are watching the formation of the “civilian national security force” President Obama called for on the campaign trail “that is just as powerful, just as strong and just as well funded” as the military.
In a massive flex of muscle most people didn’t know the TSA had, the agency led dozens of federal and state law enforcement agencies in a VIPR exercise that covered three states and 5,000 square miles. According to the Marietta Times, the sweep used reconnaissance aircraft and “multiple airborne assets, including Blackhawk helicopters and fixed wing aircraft as well as waterborne and surface teams.”
When did the TSA get this powerful? Last year, Pistole told USA Today he wanted to “take the TSA to the next level,” building it into a “national-security, counterterrorism organization, fully integrated into U.S. government efforts.”
What few people realize is how far Pistole has already come in his quest. This is apparently what that next level looks like. More than 300 law enforcement and military personnel swept through a 100-mile stretch of the Ohio Valley alone, examining the area’s industrial infrastructure, the Charleston Gazette reported.
Federal air marshals, the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard, the FBI, the Office of Homeland Security and two dozen other federal, state and local agencies teamed up to scour the state’s roads, bridges, water supply and transit centers under the TSA’s leadership.
What is remarkable about these security swarms is that they don’t just involve federal, state and local law enforcement officials. The TSA brings in squads of bureaucrats from state and federal agencies as well, everything from transportation departments to departments of natural resources.
The TSA had received no specific threats about the Tampa bus station before the April sweep, reporters were told.
They were there “to sort of invent the wheel in advance in case we have to if there ever is specific intelligence requiring us to be here,” said Gary Milano with the Department of Homeland Security in an ABC News Action television report. “This way us and our partners are ready to move in at a moment’s notice.”
Federal immigration officials from Customs and Border Patrol swept the station with the TSA, looking for “immigration violations, threats to national security” and “bulk cash smuggling.” (How the bulk cash smuggling investigation related to national security was never explained.)
“We’ll be back,” Milano told reporters. “We won’t say when we’ll be back. This way the bad guys are on notice we’ll be back.”
The TSA gave the same vague answers when asked about the three-state sweep this week. That sweep wasn’t in response to any specific security threat, either.
The purpose was to “have a visible presence and let people know we’re out here,” Michael Cleveland, federal security director for TSA operations in West Virginia told the Gazette. “It can be a deterrent.”
It might be — if Americans are willing to live this way
and then there is this, an american president creating a crisis in which hundreds are murdered including a us border patrol agent, to further his radical agenda of disarming the american public. marxists dont care who gets killed in fact its a fringe benifit. breaking eggs is an end in itself, and if you dont have a good crisis to get your agenda accomplished,
Fast and Furious, also known by the more accurate “Gunwalker,” allowed known straw purchasers to buy large quantities of firearms — often a dozen or more semi-automatic rifles — at a time with the full knowledge of ATF agents and executives. The guns were then smuggled into Mexico, as frustrated front-line ATF agents watched, under strict orders to do nothing.
ATF agents testifying in front of the House Oversight Committee could not explain how the operation was supposed to succeed when their surveillance efforts stopped at the border and interdiction was never an option.
ATF Agent John Dodson, testifying in front of the committee, said that in his entire law enforcement career, he had “never been involved in or even heard of an operation in which law enforcement officers let guns walk.” He continued: “I cannot begin to think of how the risk of letting guns fall into the hands of known criminals could possibly advance any legitimate law enforcement interest.”
The obvious answer is that Gunwalker’s objective was never intended to be a “legitimate law enforcement interest.” Instead, it appears that ATF Acting Director Ken Melson and Department of Justice senior executives specifically created an operation that was designed from the outset to arm Mexican narco-terrorists and increase violence substantially along both sides of the Southwest border.
Success was measured not by the number of criminals being incarcerated, but by the number of weapons transiting the border and the violence those weapons caused. An ATF manager was “delighted” when Gunwalker guns started showing up at drug busts. It would be entirely consistent with this theory if DOJ communications reflected the approval of the ATF senior officials they were colluding with — but as we know, Holder’s Department of Justice refuses to cooperate.
At the same time in 2009 that federal law enforcement agencies (the ATF, the DOJ, and presumably Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security) were creating the operation that led to the executive branch being the largest gun smuggler in the Southwest, the president’s team was crafting the rhetoric to sell the crisis they were creating.
On television, in various news outlets, and even in a joint appearance with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Obama pushed the 90 percent lie, implying that 90% of the guns recovered in Mexican cartel violence came from U.S. gun shops.
At the same time they were damning gun dealers in public, the administration was secretly forcing them to provide weapons to the cartels, by the armful and without oversight. More than one gun industry insider suggests that the administration extorted cooperation and silence from these gun shops. As the ATF has the power to summarily shut dealers down for the most minor of offenses, that is very, very possible.
The administration has spared no effort to stop the investigation in its tracks. Democrat senators attempted to poison the well the day before the Oversight Committee’s hearings. The ranking Democrat on the committee did as well, before being flummoxed into silence by the testimony presented.
And Obama himself has offered the solutions we would expect from a gun prohibitionist:
Faced with a Congress hostile to even slight restrictions of Second Amendment rights, the Obama administration is exploring potential changes to gun laws that can be secured strictly through executive action, administration officials say.
The Department of Justice held the first in what is expected to be a series of meetings on Tuesday afternoon with a group of stakeholders in the ongoing gun-policy debates. Before the meeting, officials said part of the discussion was expected to center around the White House’s options for shaping policy on its own or through its adjoining agencies and departments — on issues ranging from beefing up background checks to encouraging better data-sharing.
Administration officials said talk of executive orders or agency action are among a host of options that President Barack Obama and his advisers are considering.
commentary from jawa report with this interview tidbit:
I have been following the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. The weapon used was AK-47, one that the ATF lost track of. I dunno if this has something to do with how democrats view our 2nd Amendment or what but I do know he is dead, the family is still grieving and nothing substantial has come from this administration as to why! I guess throw an underling under the bus will solve the problem…not.
This statement via AosHQ really makes me sick:
It is certain from the testimony in the House Oversight Report that agents involved in the operation weren’t troubled by the fact that their operation might have the effect of increasing violence in Mexico. Even if that violence spilled across to our side of the border.
Agent Terry was a egg that was scrambled? WTF does that mean?