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Traveling? Get Ready for More TSA Intrusions

TSA checkpoint
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

You’re getting ready to board a bus, or maybe a train.  A couple of  bullet-proof vested, armed TSA agents step in front of you, and a bomb-sniffing dog shoves his nose in your pants.  Welcome to the new TSA.

Janet Nepolitano, in a policy viewed by critics as “political theater”,  and the TSA are going to ask for more funding to expand a new program called VIPER (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response).  A number of these teams are going to be, if not already, deployed at train and bus stations, and other sources of mass transit and travel–not just airports.   TSA officials defend this new policy, claiming documents taken from Osama bin Laden’s compound after his death show he was planning to expand terorrist operations against US Domestic travel centers. However, government records show not a single terrorist threat, credible or otherwise, has been thwarted by this or other domestic TSA Programs.  Moreover, critics call it political theater, and worry about yet another intrusion into the private lives of normal, law abiding American citizens.  From the LA Times:

But critics say that without a clear threat, the TSA checkpoints are merely political theater. Privacy advocates worry that the agency is stretching legal limits on the government’s right to search U.S. citizens without probable cause — and with no proof that the scattershot checkpoints help prevent attacks.

  It’s part of the post 911 world we live in, but perhaps the TSA and Federal Government are barking, or having the bomb dog sniff, up the wrong set of trousers.

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