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TSA Gestapo Empire

It doesn’t take a bureaucrat long to create an empire. John Pistole, the FBI agent who took over the Transportation Security Administration on July 1 told USA Today 16 days later that protecting trains and subways from terrorist attacks will be as high a priority for him as air travel.

It is difficult to imagine New Yorkers being porno-screened and sexually groped on crowed subway platforms or showing up an hour or two in advance for clearance for a 15 minute subway ride, but once bureaucrats get the bit in their teeth they take absurdity to its logical conclusion. Buses will be next, although it is even more difficult to imagine open air bus stops turned into security zones with screeners and gropers inspecting passengers before they board.

Will taxi passengers be next?  In those Muslim lands whose citizens the US government has been slaughtering for years, favorite weapons for retaliating against the Americans are car and truck bombs. How long before Pistole announces that the TSA Gestapo is setting up roadblocks on city streets, highways and interstates to check cars for bombs?

That 15 minute trip to the grocery store then becomes an all day affair.

Indeed, it has already begun. Last September agents from Homeland Security, TSA, and the US Department of Transportation, assisted by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, conducted a counter-terrorism operation on busy Interstate 20 just west of Atlanta, Georgia. Designated VIPER (Visible Inter-mobile Prevention and Response), the operation required all trucks to stop to be screened for bombs. Federal agents used dogs, screening devices, and a large drive-through bomb detection machine. Imagine what the delays did to delivery schedules and truckers’ bottom lines.

There are also news reports of federal trucks equipped with backscatter X-ray devices that secretly scan cars and pedestrians.

With such expensive counter-terrorism activities, both in terms of the hard-pressed taxpayers’ money and civil liberties, one would think that bombs were going off all over America.  But, of course, they aren’t. There has not been a successful terrorist act since 9/11, and thousands of independent experts doubt the government’s explanation of that event.

Subsequent domestic terrorist events have turned out to be FBI sting operations in which FBI agents organize not-so-bright disaffected members of society and lead them into displaying interest in participating in a terrorist act.  Once the FBI agent, pretending to be a terrorist, succeeds in prompting all the right words to be said and captured on his hidden recorder, the “terrorists” are arrested and the “plot” exposed.

The very fact that the FBI has to orchestrate fake terrorism proves the absence of real terrorists.

If Americans were more thoughtful and less gullible, they might wonder why all the emphasis on transportation when there are so many soft targets.  Shopping centers, for example. If there were enough terrorists in America to justify the existence of Homeland Security, bombs would be going off round the clock in shopping malls in every state. The effect would be far more terrifying than blowing up an airliner.

Indeed, if terrorists want to attack air travelers, they never need to board an airplane.

All they need to do is to join the throngs of passengers waiting to go through the TSA scanners and set off their bombs. The TSA has conveniently assembled the targets.

The final proof that there are no terrorists is that not a single neoconservative or government official responsible for the Bush regime’s invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the Obama regime’s slaughters of Pakistanis, Yemenis, and Somalians has been assassinated.  None of these Americans who are responsible for lies, deceptions, and invasions that have destroyed the lives of countless numbers of Muslims have any security protection. If Muslims were capable of pulling off 9/11, they are certainly capable of assassinating Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Libby, Condi Rice, Kristol, Bolton, Goldberg, and scores of others during the same hour of the same day.

I am not advocating that terrorists assassinate anyone. I am just making the point that if the US was as overrun with terrorists as empire-building bureaucrats pretend, we would definitely be experiencing dramatic terrorist acts. The argument is not believable that a government that was incapable of preventing 9/11 is so all-knowing that it can prevent assassination of unprotected neocons and shopping malls from being bombed.

If Al Qaeda was anything like the organization that the US government claims, it would not be focused on trivial targets such as passenger airliners. The organization, if it exists, would be focused on its real enemies. Try to imagine the propaganda value of terrorists wiping out the neoconservatives in one fell swoop, followed by an announcement that every member of the federal government down to the lowest GS, every member of the House and Senate, and every governor was next in line to be bumped off.

This would be real terrorism instead of the make-belief stuff associated with shoe bombs that don’t work, underwear bombs that independent experts say could not work, and bottled water and shampoo bombs that experts say cannot possibly be put together in airliner lavatories.

Think about it.  Would a terror organization capable of outwitting all 16 US intelligence agencies, all intelligence agencies of US allies including Israel’s Mossad, the National Security Council, NORAD, air traffic control, the Pentagon, and airport security four times in one hour put its unrivaled prestige at risk with improbable shoe bombs, shampoo bombs, and underwear bombs?

After success in destroying the World Trade Center and blowing up part of the Pentagon, it is an extraordinary comedown to go after a mere airliner.  Would a person who gains fame by knocking out the world heavyweight boxing champion make himself a laughing stock by taking lunch money from school boys?

TSA is a far greater threat to Americans than are terrorists. Pistole has given the finger to US senators and representatives, state legislators, and the traveling public who have expressed their views that virtual strip searches and sexual molestation are too high a price to pay for “security.”  Indeed, the TSA with its Gestapo attitude and methods, is succeeding in making Americans more terrified of the TSA than they are of terrorists.

Make up your own mind.  What terrifies you the most.  Terrorists, who in all likelihood you will never encounter in your lifetime, or the TSA that you will encounter every time you fly and soon, according to Pistole, every time you take a train, a subway, or drive in a car or truck?

Before making up your mind, consider this report from Antiwar.com on November 19: “TSA officials say that anyone refusing both the full body scanners and the enhanced pat down procedures will be taken into custody. Once there the detainees will not only be barred from flying, but will be held indefinitely as suspected terrorists . . . One sheriff’s office said they were already preparing to handle a large number of detainees and plan to treat them as terror suspects.”

Who is cowing Americans into submission, terrorists or the TSA Gestapo?

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About the Author

Paul Craig Roberts

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Paul Craig Roberts
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week, and the Scripps Howard News Service. He has had numerous university appointments. He is the author of numerous books, including his most recent, How America Was Lost: From 9/11 to the Police/Warfare State
  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-Flying/126801010710392 Mark

    Don’t just “opt out” of naked scanners only to be sexually molested/assaulted, instead. Boycott Flying COMPLETELY, until sanity returns! Please join us: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-Flying/126801010710392

    • WARLOC

      I say if you have to fly wear a Catchers cup and opt out. Everyone should do this and see how they react to that.

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  • Ponderer

    I have personally experienced two dragnet major road blocks by local police in two different US cities on the pretext of checking for drivers’ insurance, before and after sept. 11. I assume that they are more prevalent than we all suspect!!! Seemingly innocuous, but, if you ask me, excerise and practice for road blocks in case of people’s uprisings in America, police state is in full swing in America! only if the sheep knew!!

  • 911 Police

    Can someone tell me the EXACT section of US lw which allows law enforcement to stop vehicles (or travelers) and detain them without probable cause or reasonable suspicion and illegally search them, violating the 4th Amendment? A DUI check point must allow travelers warning (signs) and a way to leave the area for the check-points to be legal.

    • Sans Liberty

      The entire basis of this airport search system is the doctrine of administrative search. US vs. Aukai, 440 F3d 1168. The court went to great lengths to use analysis such as, “Moreover, the search itself involved “only a slight privacy intrusion.”” While this analysis is accurate with regard to magnetometers, it is not true with regard to the nude scanners and molestation.

      The worst part of this farce is that is it absolutely useless in stopping real terrorists — Pistole has announced that body cavity searches will not be conducted. Thus, as Pistole trumpets his assault on the general population, he also provides real bad guys with an instruction manual. Of course, the entire program is based on the premise that the primary soft point in protecting the population is occupants of commercial airliners. Iraq and Afghanistan being good examples of the validity of this premise.

      It is interesting to note that the reported cases on airport security tactics seem to all involved drug transport. Maybe the program has two purposes:

      1. Terrorism security theater.
      2. “war” on drugs, in which tiny quantities of drugs are seized from unbelievably stupid people.

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  • http://blog.yellow-stars.com eslaporte

    First of all, the pat-downs are not “sexual assault.” There is nothing sexual intended by the pat-downs and body scanners. So – its silly to say that this is “sexual assault” and the body scanners are “pornography.”

    Second – glad to see focus on WHAT is being brought on an airplane and away from WHO is on an airplane. Let’s get away from “no fly” lists and aviation watchlists which harm lots of innocent people! For a new take on an old pro-gun phrase: People don’t harm airplanes, dangerous instrumentality (bomb, boxcutters, etc.) harms airplanes. To think that a “certain person” riding on an airplane is going to cause an airplane to somehow fall out of the sky is just silly and stupid. WHO is on an airplane simply does not matter two bits – but secure airplanes from dangerous instrumentality.

    Also – the article eludes to the deterrence factor with regard to tight security at airports. Yes – attacking just one airliner my now be trivial to al-Qaeda, and as obstacles increase to place dangerous instrumentality on airplanes, terrorists will seek softer targets with higher value. So- the body scanners and pat downs are needed and only a few people get them. Scanners technology is a developing technology and will no doubt improve in the future. Scanners are in use around the world and in the Federal prison system.

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    That was very interesting. There are not a lot of blogs out there with good information on this topic. I hope to read more great comments when I come back later. Thank you for the information.

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