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October 31, 2011

The TSA Monster Is Coming For You

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “TSA has yet to catch a single terrorist. We don’t need obscene screening methods at airports, and we certainly don’t need them on our highways or bus stops.” – Washington Times editorial

The TSA’s “VIPR” program is a growing bureaucratic monster that will bring groping and body scans to train stations, highways, sporting events and concerts, as well as shopping malls near you.

This is just the latest instance of the Federal State’s poisoning of American rights and freedoms.

That’s why I told Congress to get the TSA out of our lives by abolishing it. I encourage you to do the same.

The hardwired message begins:

Please abolish the TSA, and permit airlines to provide their own security plans.

I added these additional comments. You may borrow or copy them…

Obviously, I also strongly object to the TSA’s growing VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) program that conducts searches in places like weigh stations and bus terminals.

As illustrated in Tennessee this week, VIPR deploys TSA agents and works with local law enforcement to stop and search people who are doing NOTHING suspicious. (http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/10/like-tsa-youll-love-vipr/247221/)

This so-called “Transportation Security Administration” has even…

* been present at the Super Bowl (http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/surveillance/2009-01-29-supersecurity_N.htm)
* and had been asked to conduct searches of students going to the prom  (http://www.koat.com/r/27984342/detail.html)

What has either event to do with “transportation?”

Moreover, as John Whitehead reported in July (http://www.rutherford.org/articles_db/commentary.asp?record_id=718)…

* In a training exercise in Atlanta, VIPR teams allegedly arrested a man after discovering a small amount of marijuana in his semi-trailer
* In San Diego, a VIPR investigation at a trolley station resulted in the deportation of three teenagers apprehended on their way to school

This tells me the TSA’s purpose is NOT to protect us from terrorism, but to be deployed as a national police force to enforce federal laws.

And it is a force that has no respect for the Fourth Amendment. As Whitehead also notes, VIPR units engaged in thorough inspections of EVERY private and commercial vehicle entering and exiting the Brownsville, Texas port, even though there was no specific threat.

None of this has ANYTHING to do with protecting the American people from terrorism. Instead, the TSA and its VIPR program seem designed to break the will of the American people, so that…

* They become accustomed to seeing uniformed federal agents as a permanent presence in their daily lives
* And become habituated to surrendering their privacy and dignity to uniformed agents who search them without cause

Meanwhile, the government employee unions grow with each new TSA hire, and contractors get richer by equipping them. This makes no sense, because…

* The terror “threat” is nearly non-existent, as shown by the small number of plots over the years
* The infinite number of potential targets means TSA is powerless to stop the next attack
* The TSA only has the power to harass and humiliate the innocent and waste taxpayer dollars

The TSA is perhaps the most prominent symbol of the loss of liberty and privacy in America today. Please pass legislation to abolish it!

END LETTER

You can send your letter using DownsizeDC.org’s Educate the Powerful System.

We’d like to thank Chuck Baldwin for his kind words about DownsizeDC.org a few weeks ago.

Mr. Baldwin also has a good column on VIPR and the erosion of liberty.

James Wilson
Policy Research Director
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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