Home / Government Surveillance / Conspiracy Theorists Were Right — Congress to Expand TSA in Other Forms of Travel Like Bus & Train

Conspiracy Theorists Were Right — Congress to Expand TSA in Other Forms of Travel Like Bus & Train

No one’s favorite government agency, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, will be harassing innocent travelers on buses and trains, if new legislation — unsurprisingly proposed after rather questionable ‘attacks’ in New York City and New Jersey on September 18 — passes as expected.

Several U.S. senators from both sides of the aisle apparently want to make travelers lives’ a veritable hell of red tape and insidious surveillance by increasing putative ‘security’ for rail lines, highways, and marine routes by adding presence and screening procedures at Megabus depots, Amtrak stations, and more.

As perpetually-terrified as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security likes to keep the population, considering the TSA’s phenomenally negative reputation at airports — passengers missing flights due to long lines, free molestations, confiscations of breast milk, and countless other good times — it’s highly doubtful the proposed legislation will receive more than tepid public support.

Bloomberg reports [emphasis added]:

“A bipartisan bill introduced Thursday by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) would require the TSA to use a risk-based security model for these transport modes and to budget money based on those risks. It would require a wider use of the agency’s terrorist watch list by train operators and more detailed passenger manifests along with tighter screening of marine employees. The legislation would also increase the TSA’s canine use by as many as 70 dog-handler teams for surface transportation.”

Despite the blatant Orwellian overtones, senate sponsors insist the American public not get ruffled feathers — because, trust them, it’s not at all what you think.

“This is very much not creating for bus or rail transportation the [security] model that exists for aviation,” asserted spokesman for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Frederick Hill, as quoted by Bloomberg.

Hill’s statement — considering the ill-reputed TSA has literally never captured a single terrorist — is debatably a good or terrible thing; though the idea of mandatory background screening to board a Megabus intimates the latter.

Besides the non-fatal bombs detonated and discovered in areas around New York City and New Jersey, the senators cited the DHS Office of Inspector General’s recent report sounding alarm bells over the lack of security in, well, every other system of transport in the United States besides aviation, which the TSA obviously already makes unbearable.

Without a hint of irony, the OIG notes DHS is responsible for securing all forms of transport in the nation “to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce,” while noting 80 percent of its 2015 budget went toward aviation programs and just 2 percent to non-aviation transportation systems. Auditors found budgetary allocation issues regarding security and risk needing to be remedied, and the lawmaker-sponsors and TSA agree.

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If the bill passes, it will address “gaps in TSA’s approach to assessing security risks and will help the agency better fulfill its role as a hub of analysis, planning, and information,” Thune explained in a statement.

Upon close inspection, however, the bill would do little more than create a more extensive secondary domestic surveillance network. For years, reports and investigations of the TSA have revealed innumerable issues — not the least of which is a culture of fear among agents, who might otherwise expose yet more issues, of supervisory retaliation.

“No one who reports issues is safe at TSA,” Mark Livingston, who works with the TSA’s chief risk officer, told Congress in April, as quoted by NorthJersey.com. “I am concerned that TSA employees responsible for transportation security, intelligence and analysis fear their supervisors more than they fear a potential terrorist threat.”

Moreover, the agency’s airport ubiquity hasn’t been bereft of glaring security mistakes and practices antithetical to the safety their presence ostensibly guarantees.

Agents, for example, laughably claim our water bottles, soda cans, and, yes, even breast milk containers and pimento cheese, pose an insurmountable risk to passenger safety and must be handed over prior to entering the terminal — but confiscated materials sit in filled-to-the-brim bins in screening areas. If all of those beverage containers somehow actually did contain, say, explosive material, the TSA would be responsible for building a bomb of epic proportions.

More to the point, TSA agents tested by DHS auditors last year more than flunked the test — weapons and fake explosives were allowed to pass 95 percent of the time — missing 67 of 70 individual attempts.

Inordinately long lines at airport security checkpoints in the spring peaked travelers’ anger and forced the question, Is the TSA necessary at all?

In the name of safety and security — or, more accurately, under the premise of terrorism — Americans have been groped, X-rayed, fondled, detained, robbed, searched, brutalized, sexually assaulted, and generally humiliated by state agents in a nation where a person is 58 times more likely to be killed by an officer of the law than by a terrorist.

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With a host of problems still plaguing the TSA, the only possible motive for such a vast extension of its powers would have to be keeping better tabs on civilians.

This Big Brother approach to national security, though proven flawed continually — even in the placement and detonation of non-fatal bombs cited as motivation for the bill — will eke into our private lives until we have nowhere to go, nowhere to escape its eyes. Until we collectively stop allowing fear to guide our most important privacy concerns, government agencies will test how much we’ll give — but they will never stop trying to take.

  • P. Douglas

    Fantastic idea. The TSA has a 94% failure rate. I’m absolutely convinced that taking that skill set and applying it to bus stations will totally fix the problem and fill all those ‘gaps in the approach to security risks.’ Makes total sense that spreading the incompetence wider will result in success this time.

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  • thepixinator

    Great. One of the many, many advantages of taking the train is being able to roll up to the station five minutes before departure, show the conductor the ticket on my phone, and board. I really hope the TSA doesn’t kill the joy of train travel.

    • San Tan

      you can be guaranteed, they are going to take the joy out of every single form of travel. They are here for the soul purpose of making our lives a living hell.

      • BillinDetroit

        They could suck the joy out of a bj.

  • Eric Bolt

    9/11 Terrorist made up the TSA, DIA, Homeland Insecurity, others-! all based upon 9/11 Terrorist Testimony during the 9/11 Terrorist, controlled 9/11 Hearings of 2003-! of which dozens & dozens of pre-9/11 Terrorist controlled the 9/11 hearings-!Terrorist arrest where in fact asked for by real Anti Terror, Counter Terror personnel–! long before 9/11! each 9/11 Terrorist, watches the chaos they caused long before 9/11, from the comforts of their Living rooms-! recall 9/11 Terrorist aider & abetter Mr. Paula Ryan, who criminally slithered into your US Military Schools & demanded that the new Officers to be — to criminally continue the known, Wrong Way Soldier programs, like their criminally sleazy peers had done before them- & to hurry up leed the Enlisted, & Murder as many Muslims——-SAND NIGGERS–! as possible-! before they call the Damn False Flag Wrong Way Soldier programs off-! not one 9/11 Terrorist, has been brought to light – like Dick Cheney, others, who sent the drones flying on 9/11, that American Hero Terrorist, fighting CIA Terrorist, while calling home- loved ones – friends- ground control from known Drone missiles-! America should force the pay back of Terrorist families paid out -better known as 9/11 Terrorist Double Dipping-! I, Eric Bolt, know these things to be factual & that the above Mention Agencies were in operation long before 9/11 -! now wrong way soldiers served protected neighborhoods streets in Iraq Afghanistan come back home to your streets your neighborhoods & shoot your – Child – you – Fido -! but no more Vietnam Millings no sir these are professional Terrorist Trackers – Hunters – Tortures – Murderers and know how to cover their crimes of Murder up-! just as the Corrupt Officers who leed your Son your Daughter the known wrong way-! Do as the 9/11 Terrorist have told them to do criminally before they graduated-!

  • Michael Gary

    Hilarious ! !
    Yeah, cause if I’m a terrorist, the victims I want to target are poor bus riders and senior train riders…..
    Senator Thune, you are fucking brilliant ! !

  • Michael Gary

    Hey, don’t forget ferry boats. Terrorists love to use ferry boats as political statements….
    Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha…….

    • San Tan

      They also love cars, skateboards, Segway’s, tennis shoes..and every other means and forms of travel.. so get ready.. for complete “TSA LOCKDOWN”..Soon, you will not be allowed into a mall unless you go through a TSA metal detector. You’ll have to remove your shoes, show your purse, and be subject to wanding and pat downs.

      • BillinDetroit

        Actually, I kind of like the pat downs. At my age, I don’t get many thrills any more.

        😉

  • gininitaly

    The Terrorists ‘r’ Us…. or rather this insane ‘bought’ wanabe Nazi government, using half of the population to criminalize the other half. After all, it seems these are the only jobs available to a failed fiat state that has been cleaned out by the banksters, production decamped to slave states and polluted by the resource rapists… and so now the 22 richest families in the USA are worried about mass revolt for the complete financial and moral extraction that they’ve been perpetrating upon the citizenry…. so what’s the hold up folks?

  • Nam Marine

    The TSA is a total failure! The Governments answer………make it bigger !

    • shropster

      The TSA is not a failure. It’s accomplishing its purpose. Hint: the definition of terrorist is going to be broadened to include you if you show evidence of being a Christian or of “Islamophobia”.

      • BillinDetroit

        Or of owning a copy of the Constitution.

      • Karen Reed

        Being a Christan will never be looked at as being a terrorist in this country (although it should) .. Stop it

  • Zaphod Braden

    Meanwhile THOUSANDS of terrorists are strolling across the mexican border.
    This is a war on YOU not terrorism.

    • San Tan

      Exactly.. and it’s amazing that more people don’t see the irony of that fact. All those scumbags in DC..are laughing their scurvy corrupt criminal back ends off.

  • Brett Rapley

    How unbelievably stupid ! The TSA are the biggest bunch of thieves going, taking peoples belongings and goods etc. Yes, America had to deal with 9/11, but your overstating the terror level threat more than you need to. Your trying to subjugate the people of your country into thinking they need this, when they in fact don’t. The TSA has already proved it’s the biggest mistake ever, no matter how you try to look at it.

  • thomas jefferson

    I will completely enjoy watching as the Russians are bombing the USA into ash,nuclear weapons landing on ALL the cities and Military bases,IT’LL make picking off the traitors easy as pie,WEAR YOUR UNIFORMS TRAITORS,don’t make us search for you..MY dogs will be hungry,AND YOUR WHATS GOING TO BE FOR THEIR DINNER……..

  • Alleged Comment

    Well known that once a person grabs power they almost never let go but instead try to expand it.

    The truth is Demoncraps and lieberals will never stop trying to put a BOOT on your neck. That’s what they were BORN FOR!

    • You left out the Republicans that also support these police state policies, or was that on purpose? A little divide et impera injection?

      • Alleged Comment

        I am aware Retardicans barely escape judgement while Demoncraps clearly CROSS that line!

  • shropster

    I’ve saying for years that the real and true purpose of TSA was to acclimate the public, that could afford to fly, to a police state. This indoctrination is now being given to the public at large. Look for unannounced and random traffic stops to check not only for drugs, but for firearms as well.

  • I don’t feel any safer flying today than I did before 9/11. I would rather take my chances than going through TSA. You know how much money our country could save by eliminating the government all together? Check out Adam Kokesh’s plan for 2020. Read his FREE book “FREEDOM” and his plan at http://www.thefreedomline.com https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5b2fca0a0a36b73f392458c2ce68fbbd826d532172f915f6ae0a53b64c69a19f.jpg

  • barbarakelly

    THIS IS JUST GREAT.– MAKE SURE WHAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE DOING BUT DON’T CHECK OUT THE BOZO’S THAT YOU LET IN TO THE COUNTRY. WHY IS IT THAT OUR GOV. CAN’T MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION LATELY???

  • disqus_xp4GYx7DZk

    We HAVE TO draw the line in the sand NOW. Shove them aside, flip them off, punch them OUT, whatever, go to jail, buuuuuuuuut, REFUSE TO SUBMIT to this unconstitutional bullshit!!!!!!

  • anarchyst

    It’s called “mission creep”…every government agency seeks to keep itself in business by expanding the scope if its “mission”…I knew this would happen when the TSA was formed. In the future, it will also expand to checkpoints between states and territories…