Los Angeles, CA — For years, those who have been paying attention to the ever-expanding police state that is the United States, have been warning of the slippery slope of TSA expansion. For years, these same people warned that TSA would soon be present at bus stations, malls, and subways. And now, this has begun to happen.
Indeed, the Free Thought Project predicted this years ago when several U.S. senators from both sides of the aisle expressed their desire 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. Now, it is finally here.
According to a press release from the TSA, they have "partnered with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to deploy a new advanced portable passenger screening technology that will help detect weapon and explosive device security threats on the county’s transit system."
The Los Angeles Metro system becomes the first transportation agency in the United States, according to TSA, to purchase such "an advanced, high-tech security device" — ironically from the agency responsible for strip searching babies, removing colostomy bags, beating up blind cancer patients, and fondling your genitalia, all in the name of security.
For now, the scanners will not be deployed like they are in airports in which travelers wait in gruelingly long lines only to be exposed to radiation and groped by the infamous blue gloves one by one. Instead, the Thruvision machines, coming in at $100,000 each, will scan every single passenger as they walk through the machine and pick up on the waves emitted by the human body.
Not surprisingly, the scanners will be easy to beat because they require waves emitted from the human body to reveal hidden objects. According to the TSA, "the devices identify objects that block the naturally occurring waves produced by a person’s body. When an object is hidden in clothing or strapped to a person, these waves are blocked and detected by the system’s software. The software generates generic avatars and creates either a black spot on the area of the body where the item is concealed or overlays a color indicator."
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As Reason magazine reports,
Because they rely on those waves emitted from the human body to reveal hidden objects, these scanners can only detect things that people are carrying on their person. In the case of terrorism prevention, that would be suicide vests or maybe pipe bombs (like the one used in an unsuccessful attack near the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal in December 2017).
A would-be terrorist with any kind of guile could get around this security precaution by simply carrying an explosive device in a backpack.
The scanners are merely one more step toward a totalitarian state in which Americans are intimidated as they attempt to travel freely—and their ineffective nature highlights this perfectly.
Nevertheless, the TSA is taking this landmark police state measure and using it to pat themselves on the back.
"TSA applauds the leadership of L.A. Metro for its proactive efforts to evaluate, procure and use state-of-the-art technology designed to detect potential threats to the transit system,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “TSA is pleased to have been a partner during the evaluation and testing process, which ultimately led to the purchase of a recommended system to help detect and deter potential acts of terrorism while keeping the traveling public safe.”
However, if we look at their actual history at keeping people "safe," the TSA has failed miserably. An internal investigation of the TSA in 2015 revealed "failures at dozens of the nation’s busiest airports, where undercover investigators were able to smuggle mock explosives or banned weapons through checkpoints in 95 percent of trials."
But fret not free Americans, the TSA will likely be coming to a bus station near you to employ their $100,000 scanners that can't even stop a bomb in a book sack, but that give the impression that the all seeing eyes of the state are everywhere—a move far more powerful and influential than any terrorist detonating an IED in a bus station.