One of the things Kip Hawley left out of his explanation of why the TSA sucks is the TSA’s infestation of other forms of transportation, such as the one described in this press release from the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority:
In an unprecedented approach that involved four law enforcement agencies – including federal agents – METRO launched a national BusSafe pilot program last Friday that saturated its system and resulted in quality arrests, making transit safer for passengers.
The METRO Police Department, Houston Police Department, Harris County Precinct 7 Deputy Constables and 15 agents – part of so-called viper teams – from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) joined forces in a synchronized, counter-terrorism exercise that focused on bus stops and shelters and transit centers.
Law officials performed random bag checks, conducted sweeps with our K-9 drug and bomb-detecting dogs, and assigned both uniformed and plainclothes officers at transit centers and rail platforms to detect and prevent criminal activity.
The call it a “counter-terrorism exercise,” but in the very next paragraph they mention drug-sniffing dogs, which of course have nothing to do with catching terrorists. And given the incredibly self-serving nature of this press release, they would have mentioned it if any of the “quality arrests” had been for something even remotely resembling terrorist activity.
In reality, what they did was setup an internal checkpoint — a place were citizens just going about their business are forced to show their papers and submit to questioning and investigation by the authorities — which is the hallmark of tyrannical governments everywhere, and a sign of creeping totalitarianism here.
Naturally, our elected representatives don’t see the problem:
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas District 18), a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, called this a new era for the TSA, and a new era for surface transportation security.
“We’re looking to make sure that the lady I saw walking with a cane…knows that METRO cares as much about her as we do about building the light rail,” said Jackson Lee at the news conference.
What the hell is that? Mention a woman with a cane and somehow that makes it alright to harass citizens for no reason? Is she that stupid? Or does she think we’re that stupid?
(Hat tip: Mark Bennett.)
Update: And now the Houston METRO folks have realized that “random” searches may not hold up in court, so they’re trying to change their story. Mark Bennett is all over it.