Armed TSA teams now roam in public, conduct “suspicionless searches” on demand

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Top Tier Gear USA

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Federal agents make their presence known at a train station (Brian Bennett, Tribune Washington Bureau)

America’s illusions of freedom are becoming more and more transparent, with the federal government’s now standard practice of deploying armed agents to actively roam public venues and conducting “suspicionless searches” on anyone they want. The TSA sends out its Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams to set up unannounced checkpoints used to “Dominate, Intimidate, & Control” American travelers. The purpose of VIPR teams is to maintain a presence in public areas and force travelers to submit to searches, including opening up bags and being patted down.

The New York Times wrote of the TSA on August 8, “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.”

TSA agents with terror-sniffing dogs

TSA records show that the teams ran more than 8,800 unannounced checkpoints outside of airports last year alone. These included searches at train stations, bus stations, the Indianapolis 500, the Superbowl, the Democratic and Republican national conventions, political speeches, and sports stadiums, more. CBS Los Angeles reported that TSA conduct an estimated 9,300 “suspicionless” spot searches of travelers in 2011.

Brian Bennett wrote in 2011, that “TSA teams have checked people at the gangplanks of cruise ships, the entrance to NASCAR races, and at ferry terminals taking tourists to the Outer Banks.”

The Feds are also deploying “TSA assets” in and around sporting arenas. The official TSA Blog wrote in February, “Super Bowl fans may encounter TSA Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams on local transportation venues, including commercial and general aviation facilities and mass transit… TSA assets will also work with law enforcement at Mercedes-Benz Superdome during the high-profile game.” Fans had their clothing searched, their bags X-rayed, and their persons sniffed with dogs.

In one shocking story from New Mexico, TSA agents were scheduled to conduct warrantless searches of high school students attending their Senior Prom. The TSA ended up not having time to comply with the court order, but another disturbing precedent was set.

A TSA agent searching a vehicle

TSA has also made their presence felt on America’s roads, setting up VIPR teams to perform checkpoints right in the middle of highways. After all, as one TSA official pointed out, “We are not the Airport Security Administration.” Federal roadblocks have been set up in Virginia and Tennessee, among other states. Vehicles were subject to VIPR agents inspecting them for terrorists and terror-related materials.

VIPR now has a $100 million annual budget and is growing rapidly, increasing to several hundred people and 37 teams last year, up from 10 teams in 2008.

“It was an incredible waste of taxpayers’ money,” said attorney Robert Fickman, after being searched in a train station. “Did we need to have T.S.A. in here for a couple of minor busts?”

“The problem with TSA stopping and searching people in public places outside the airport is that there are no real legal standards, or probable cause,” said Khaliah Barnes, law counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). “It’s something that is easily abused because the reason that they are conducting the stops is shrouded in secrecy.”

TSA at work on American travelers

To justify their unconstitutional infringements, they claim the checkpoints are “administrative searches” that are exempt from probable cause therefore conveniently impervious to constitutional scrutiny.

TSA now has grown to a whopping 56,000 agents, violating rights en masse at 450 American airports. Its complete disregard for individual liberties and the constitution illustrates the uncomfortable fact that the United States is becoming a police state.

“We have to keep [terrorists] on edge,” said Frank Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute, reported Bennett.

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  • As long the the American sheeple allow it, it will get worse. the only thing they will understand is when their actions are reciprocated in kind by a few percent of us.

    The fix is beyond the ballot box. Semper Fi. III

    • SKIP

      Roger that and FUCK the ballot box, the answer is now going to come from the ammo box.

  • Keep the TSA on edge

    defund these freaks. stop paying into the system. this article is probably a gov’t funded one. SUE THEIR ASSES OFF EVERY TIME U R ACCOSTED BY THESE NAZI GESTAPO agents.Title 42 section 1983 of the US Code for starters…and then the COMMERCIAL LIEN PROCESS on the English agents. THey are foreign to American soil. they are intruders. DEFUND AND SUE….for starters.

    • Row Weil

      A-MEN!

      The solution is very simple:
      – Stop paying Federal Taxes.

      Everything will start unraveling after that.

      The Jackboots will come after up in force, and those who like Authoritarianism And Those Who Don’t will rapidly separate from each other.

      By the way, I’ve heard that the IRS’s Charter ended last year, and the Federal Reserve’s charter ends this December – can someone confirm that there is any truth to that?

  • SteadySteve

    Keep it up! People will just start shooting them on sight when they’ve had enough.

    • Jean

      Until there are bodies, I will not believe that. (Not happy about that.)

      Note:
      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security

      {Emphasis added}

      There is NO OPTION here: If you go read the Declaration, the FedGov is guilty of EVERY ONE of the offenses listed – and worse, they are more greivous in nature than King George III’s offenses were.

      “Fat George has declared us in rebellion; WHY THE HELL CAN’T WE?” – John Adams, “1776”

      • Jean

        It didn’t Bold the intended text:
        mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

  • Garry LaPaz is absolutely correct,this will never be fixed at the ballot box,it has went way to far for that to happen. Any ameriKan so blind as to not see what these tyrannical government thugs,on the federal,state and local levels are doing is beyond foolish.Never in history has tyrants been stopped without a fight.Could that be what gun control is really about? ABSOLUTELY!

  • RickE.

    The TSA aren’t sworn, trained law enforcement. They’re flunkies basically.
    We need to actually fight back and “F” them up when they start to F with us.

    @RowWeil, congress passed the Pepper McFadden Bill in 1927 giving the banks perpetual charter. Congress can only stop the federal reserve IF it wants to.
    I cannot find any info about an IRS charter.

    • ChantalDesigner

      Of course you’re right, Rick! I wish bloggers or whoever writes would STOP calling them “Agents” it’s absolutely ludicrous..

  • Steve

    They try to force a search on me, they’ll probably wind up shooting me, or they’ll have more then one to overpower me, and I’ll be in jail.
    I’ll start swinging.

  • SKIP

    Please read “Turner Diaries” for a primer of the future, it has a wonderful happy ending.