Don’t Keep The Change of the Day: The TSA disclosed today that it had collected a total of $409,085.56 in coins from forgetful or neglectful passengers over the course of 2010.
Rifling through what amounts to the world’s most profitable couch, the TSA turned up $376,480.39 in domestic currency and $32,605.17 in foreign coins.
TSA spokesman Greg Soule swears his agency isn’t just an elaborate scheme to bilk you out of your loose change. “[The TSA] makes every effort to reunite passengers with items left at the checkpoint,” says Soule.
So what happens to the money they collect? According to Soule, it goes to fund agency operations. Surprisingly, there are people in government who are just as upset about that as you are probably right now.
“Allowing TSA to keep unclaimed taxpayer money for any and all purposes is an egregious breach of its duty to the public that it serves,” wrote Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) to Rep. Peter King (R-NY), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
Miller believes the cash should go to help the USO, but really anyone besides the TSA will do.
Think you could avoid the TSA’s body scanners and pat-downs by taking Amtrak? Think again. Even your daily commute isn’t safe from TSA screenings. And because the TSA is working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol, you may have your immigration status examined along with your “junk”.
As part of the TSA’s request for FY 2012 funding, TSA Administrator John Pistole told Congress last week that the TSA conducts 8,000 unannounced security screenings every year. These screenings, conducted with local law enforcement agencies as well as immigration, can be as simple as checking out cargo at a busy seaport. But more and more, they seem to involve giving airport-style pat-downs and screenings of unsuspecting passengers at bus terminals, ferries, and even subways.
These surprise visits are part of the TSA’s VIPR program: Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response. The VIPR program first started doing searches in 2007, and has grown since then. Currently, the TSA only has 25 VIPR teams doing these impromptu searches: in 2012, it wants to get 12 more.
The searches are in the name of passenger security, and the TSA says it wants to prevent incidents like the 2004 Madrid train bombings. But if the airports’ TSA searches miss security risks like large knives, loaded guns, and explosives, there’s certainly the chance that screenings at train stations would be similarly flawed.
Not to worry: security isn’t the only goal of VIPR. A recent VIPR operation/screening at a Tampa Greyhound bus station was conducted with US Border Patrol and ICE. “What we’re looking for is threats to national security as well as immigration law violators,” said Steve McDonald from US Border Patrol. An ICE representative said that they were also looking for smuggling, and Gary Milano from Homeland Security said that although that was the first time the Tampa bus depot had been screened, VIPR would be back again sometime in the future and was using the element of surprise as a deterrent to “the bad guys.”
Although one man at the Tampa screening said he felt “safer,” VIPR operations are not without their naysayers. A VIPR screening at a Des Moines Greyhound station last week is alleged to have targeted Latinos. Another TSA/Border Patrol VIPR screening on a trolley in San Diego resulted in three teens being handcuffed and deported while on their way to school. Around 20 others were also deported, according to local news outlets.
The trolley is part of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. “We believe this is a flagrant violation of human rights, when we have a situation in which children are being separated from their families without the proper due process rights being afforded to them,” said a spokesman for the girl’s family. The three teens nabbed in the San Diego VIPR operation were deported to Tijuana, but later allowed to re-enter the United States on humanitarian visas.
More children, this time train passengers disembarking at Savannah, Georgia, were treated to questionable TSA treatment in February along with their families. While the passengers (who again, had just gotten OFF a train) were lifting their shirts and having bras handled during pat-downs, their luggage was sitting unattended on the train platform.
The TSA later admitted that the VIPR operation should have ended before the train entered the station, but told the public that the Savannah passengers didn’t have to enter the screening area… even though an eye-witness says a TSA agent instructed them to go into the screening area to collect their luggage… the luggage that was actually waiting somewhere else.
VIPR operations are now even targeting freight trucks on highways. In addition to the random checks on public transit systems, it makes you wonder: can private vehicles be far behind? Will there be any mode of transportation beyond the reach of the TSA?
UPDATE: According to at least one news report out of Brownsville, Texas, TSA/VIPR has already conducted unannounced inspections of private passenger cars and trucks. Thanks for the tip, reader @jwindz.
UPDATE 2: Welcome, Drudge Report readers! If you liked this story, check out our story on how the TSA is scanning your face in an attempt to read your mind, our explainer on the safety of the new “porno-scanners,” our report on the TSA missing a man’s loaded handgun, our investigation of the people who are profiting from the new scanners, and Kevin Drum’s anti-anti-TSA rant.
Welcome To The Police State!
[EDIT: “Behavior Detection Officer”… WTF!?]
How much of your freedom are you willing to give up in the name of your personal safety?
That question is prompted by the latest news about the Transportation Security Administration, which has reportedly been contemplating expanding its controversial X-ray body-scanning program from airports to public events, mass transit and possibly even the streets where you live.
According to documents obtained by the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center, the TSA in 2006 began planning pilot programs that, if ever fully implemented, would expand its reach into the everyday lives of American citizens.Aldawsari: Why was the alleged W-slay plotter even here ?
The idea was to develop a credible “response package” to a threat like the 2004 Madrid train bombings and the attack on the London Underground the following year by Muslim terrorists.
Phase One was tested in February 2006 at the Exchange Place PATH station in Jersey City, using metal detectors and X-ray machines. Phase Two tried out “in several locations” video-surveillance cameras, still photography and whole-body imaging.
Still other projects bruited involved mobile vans equipped with backscatter X-ray scanners to detect weapons and explosives in cars and on pedestrians.
Do we really want to go down this road?
The Fourth Amendment states explicitly: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.”
Hard to square that with the mission of the Homeland Security Department and its intrusive TSA, which treat every American equally — as a potential criminal and terrorist.
Meanwhile, the TSA has now told its 40,000 airport screeners that they have the right to unionize on a limited basis — defeating the Bush administration’s original insistence that the DHS should be nonunion in order to ensure maximum flexibility and accountability.
In a politically correct attempt at perfect egalitarianism, we’ve created a bureaucratic monster. And, like all bureaucracies, it really has only one imperative — not defending the homeland, but protecting itself and expanding its reach, in order to justify its $56 billion budget.
It doesn’t matter whether the administration is Republican or Democratic. It doesn’t matter who’s president. Poorly conceived and hastily created in the aftermath of 9/11, the leviathan DHS — with more than 200,000 employees, it’s the third-largest Cabinet department — is a conceptual and practical disgrace to the American tradition of ordered liberty.
This isn’t to say we should have no defense against the very real threats in an asymmetrical war against radical Islam. And it’s also true that the Islamic threat may be changing from immigrant jihadis to American-born agents, like Maj. Nidal Hasan, who murdered 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.
But it’s absurd to argue that random “militias,” white-supremacist gangs or other groups pose a significant effect to the republic, much less grandmas in wheelchairs and yeshiva students.
The farce that is our security policy will come back to haunt us unless we shake off the PC shackles and start taking more proactive security measures.
And that starts with whom we let into our country. We know, for example, that the 9/11 hijackers were largely from Saudi Arabia, some of them fast-tracked under the now-discontinued Visa Express program. We also know that the kingdom is the world’s foremost exporter not only of oil, but also of radical Wahhabism.
Last month, in a story that got almost no notice, a Saudi Muslim named Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, here on a student visa, was arrested by the FBI and charged with attempted use of a “weapon of mass destruction” — a chemical improvised-explosive device — in a plot to kill “the tyrant” George W. Bush. What was this man doing in our country?
The place to stop terrorists is during what should be a rigorous, need-based visa process in countries in the Arab and Muslim world, not when they’re in Texas buying Hazmat suits.
If that offends certain “sensibilities,” tough. The impossibly perfect can’t be the enemy of the good enough for right now — not as long as the war continues.
It’s time to get the DHS and the TSA out of their defensive crouch. It’s past time to expand our forward perimeter to our embassies and consulates, instead of waiting for the enemy to strike here.
And unless the Constitution no longer means anything, it’s way past time to insist that our government stop treating us as potential bombers and murderers.
Michael Walsh, a former associate editor of Time, is the author (writing as David Ka hane) of “Rules for Radical Conservatives.”
See Also: TSA Lies To Justify Illegal Train Station Grope-Down – Read More Here
Also: (LewRockwell) – Aussies Ready to Roll Out Deep Penetrating Radiation Scanners at Airports – Read More Here
Also: (PrisonPlanet) – TSA Lies To Justify Illegal Train Station Grope-Down – Read More Here
Also: (PPJG) – DNA, HHS, and TSA : Which of These Things Might Be Part Of The Other? – Read More Here
Also: (WMUR) – Bill Would Make Some Airport Screening Sexual Assault – Read More Here
(SteveWatson) – Trials begin for devices that can scan your insides, deep penetrating radiation scans cause 15,000 deaths per year
March 1, 2011
The next generation of body scanners to be rolled out in airports will literally be able to see inside the human body, as security personnel gear up to trial machines that use deep penetrating radiation, the same kind hospitals use to examine internal organs and bones.
Australian airports are set to begin using the devices should legislation before Federal Parliament be passed, enabling customs officers to use technology previously only operated by doctors in controlled conditions.
The justification for the technology is to crack down on suspected drug smugglers who swallow illegal substances to evade airport security. However, the notion of placing the technology along airport security lines paves the way for its general use, particularly in light of the recent security theatre explosion we have seen in airports over the last eighteen months.
The current crop of naked body scanners being used by the TSA and other transport security personnel around the globe use either Millimeter-wave or BackScatter radiation. These devices render clothing and organic materials translucent, providing an image of what is concealed underneath, which is why they have caused such controversy.
The radiation fired from those scanners does not penetrate beyond the tissue under the skin, nevertheless there have been significant and legitimate fears expressed by experts and scientists over the safety of such devices, as far as both the operator and the traveler are concerned.
The force generated from tetrahertz waves used by the millimeter-wave scanners is small but, according to scientists, the waves can ‘unzip’ or tear apart double-stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the DNA that could interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication.
Despite further warnings from scientists that the scanners will cause cancer in some travelers, it seems our governments are ready to push even further and use even more potentially lethal technology, under the guise of security.
Of course, there is a very good reason why internal X-ray scans are only legally permitted to be carried out by a doctor at a hospital or surgery – because they are extremely hazardous and can cause detrimental health effects to those exposed to them.
Radiography and Tomography scanners fire deep penetrating ionizing x-rays. The most recent studies estimated that CT scanners cause 29,000 cancers and kill nearly 15,000 Americans every year. Imagine how that number would balloon if such technology were installed in airports and used everyday on millions of healthy people, as if they were routine metal detectors.
Yet, there is every indication that this will be the case. In January 2010, following the failed underpants bombing, former European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom & Security, Franco Frattini, told the media that governments should consider scanning the insides of all travelers to make sure they are not concealing explosives or weapons. It now seems that what at the time seemed a stretch beyond the realms of sanity is actually happening before our eyes.
Recent security failures concerning the current crop of naked body scanners, many of which stem from human error, and the fact that the scanners are simply incapable of identifying some materials, will no doubt also be used as justification should the US and the UK follow the actions of the Australian authorities in attempting to beef security theatre in airports even further.
Of course, none of this matters to the scores of security contractors making fat profits from government contracts. The military industrial complex cares little if a few million people drop dead from cancer or pass on genetic defects. The only health worries they have concern their profit margins.
At the end of the day, however, the buck stops with the public on this. Overall apathy toward the rollout of highly invasive and potentially dangerous naked body scanning machines in airports, has only paved the way for more excessive violations of our rights and our liberties.
As we have consistently highlighted, there are even more frightening scenarios down the road if we continue to ignore the open tyranny being implemented all around us. If the public willingly accepts naked imaging x-ray machines that will cause cancer and death, all in the name of security, what comes next?
The TSA is considering taser bracelets that can deliver electric shocks to anyone who steps out of line inside an airport or on a plane.
Passport control officers at airports are to be phased out as new biometric face scanning cameras are replacing them under UK border control measures that came into force last year. A global biometric facial scan database is the end goal of security authorities the world over.
Other proposals include placing the cameras in every seat on aircraft and installing software to try and automatically detect terrorists or other dangers caused by passengers.
Passive brain scanners that pick up brain waves in order to sense the behaviour of travelers have already been trialed in airports. The technology known as “MALINTENT” has been developed by the Department of Homeland Security under a project lovingly called “Project Hostile Intent”. The following image is a DHS Impression of the mindreader technology in action.
We are also being incrementally taught that what goes on in the airports will be transferred to the streets, schools, shopping malls, rail stations and bus terminals.
The very body scanners we see being implemented within airports now have already been extensively trialed and are now being in railway stations in major cities.
The same technology is being considered by governments for general use in cameras on the street. Once accepted as part of everyday life in airports, it becomes much easier to sell for use in all public places.
The development of all of this nightmare technology only emphasizes the need for immediate outright rejection of the mass implementation of all forms of body screeners. If we continue to allow such gross attacks on our liberties to succeed the onslaught will never end.
The TSA has announced its intention to expand the VIPR program to include roadside inspections of commercial vehicles, setting up a network of internal checkpoints and rolling out security procedures already active in airports, bus terminals and subway stations to roads and highways across the United States.
Up until now, commercial trucks and other vehicles only were subject to warrantless searches and radiation scans at specially designated “state-owned inspection stations” traditionally set up at rest stops next to highways. These internal checkpoints, run by Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation, and the TSA, involve trucks being scanned with backscatter x-ray devices in the name of “safety” and “counter terrorism”.
These inspection stations are now being expanded to normal roads and highways, unleashing an army of TSA agents who will be given a free hand to litter America with internal checkpoints in a chilling throwback to Soviet-style levels of control over the population.
“Inspectors from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are likely to be more involved in roadside inspections of commercial vehicles, according to TSA officials,” reports the industry website BulkTransporter.com.
”VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) teams can be extremely effective, serving as a visible presence that is random and unpredictable,” says William Arrington with TSA. “VIPR teams are an essential part of protecting highway transportation vehicles and other critical infrastructures.”
The video below shows the truck inspections which will now be expanded to cover the country’s road and highway network.
The report also notes that, “VIPR team members may or may not be in uniform,” stoking fears about the use of secret police manning checkpoints which would be more befitting of the Soviet Union or the former East Germany.
Since the launch of the Department of Homeland Security’s “See Something, Say Something” program, the DHS has also released promotional material which depicts would-be TSA agents conducting searches at public events, including a Buccaneers football game.
Homeland Security is also developing technology to be used at “security events” which purports to monitor “malintent” on behalf of an individual who passes through a checkpoint. The video below explains how “Future Attribute Screening Technology” (FAST) checkpoints will conduct “physiological” and “behavioral” tests in order to weed out suspected terrorists and criminals.
The clip shows individuals who attend “security events” being led into trailers before they are interrogated as to whether they are terrorists while lie detector-style computer programs analyze their physiological responses. The subjects are asked about their whereabouts, and if they are attempting to smuggle bombs or recording devices into the “expo,” proving that the technology is intended to be used at public events and not just airports. Individuals who do not satisfy the first lie detector-style test are then asked “additional questions”.
If people think they can avoid the TSA by staying away from airports, they’re going to be in for a rude awakening. TSA is clearly engaged in a total takeover of society and plans to have its agents searching, patting down, scanning and harassing Americans at all levels of society, not just at transport hubs but at public events, in the street and on highways and roads across the country.
The implementation of ‘Checkpoint USA’, where citizens are routinely stopped, searched and radiated by federal VIPER teams is further evidence of how America is crumbling into a Soviet-style police state where the presumption of innocent until proven guilty is abolished and the 4th amendment eviscerated. The DHS program also represents a complete violation of the 10th Amendment in that it brazenly contravenes states’ rights.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show. Watson has been interviewed by many publications and radio shows, including Vanity Fair and Coast to Coast AM, America’s most listened to late night talk show.
http://RTR.org/signup | http://RealityReport.TV | Will the TSA soon be at every bus terminal and train depot in America? In this edition of the Reality Report Gary Franchi discloses the purpose of the TSA Viper Teams and what non-invasive methods the Russians and Iraqis use to hunt for explosives. A new initiative is launched to abolish the TSA and Gary gives you the steps to take action. Nina breaks down the top stories including the Christmas Tree Bomber, what the media didn’t tell you about “Opt Out Day” and new information in the latest Wikileaks release and what you need to know about the world silver market. We are Change Chicago is featured from their latest street action, Beverly Eakman, co-founder of the National Education Consortium talks with Gary about how the financial crash can grow the police state, and Jesse Ventura returns to weigh in on the 9/11 Attacks. The mailbag is sifted and an new Enemy of the State joins the ranks.Please help raise awareness for The Reality Report and share this show.
Beverly Eakman: Over-Diagnosing America - Part 1: http://blip.tv/file/4451825
Beverly Eakman: Engineering A Crisis - Part 2:
Beverly Eakman: Self-Preserving Government - Part 3: http://blip.tv/file/4451700
Jesse Ventura: The 9/11 Conspiracy:
Now Available on DVD!
ENEMY OF THE STATE: CAMP FEMA 2
(Edit: and more…)