Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Homeland Security's Stranglehold on America

There can be little doubt to me that the greatest threat to American liberties is not terrorism, but Homeland Security. Janet Napolitano, not Osama bin Laden, is the one attacking "our way of life."

When the Homeland Security department was created it was endowed with unheard of powers, many agencies were centralized under it's control. It used the 9/11 attacks to justify every attack on the privacy of Americans that it engaged in, and it engaged in many.

Consider the recent scanners that basically photograph airline passengers in the nude. Consider also the very intrusive "pat-downs" where federal agents feel the genitals of American citizens in the guise of
preventing another 9/11.  And we heard this all justified on the basis of how horrific 9/11 was.

To recap 9/11: a small band of terrorists hijacked airplanes and used them as missiles to take down the Twin Towers. Airplanes are massive, very fast, and filled with explosive fuels that will detonate upon impact. It was this combination of factors that made them so deadly. And this was the justification for a very intrusive government agency that routinely mistreats people and threatens anyone who complains at the airport. The entire purpose of the fondling process is to punish people who opt-out of the porno scanners that Janet Napolitano put into place.

So, what then is the excuse for TSA setting up the same sort of system at bus stations? Buses are not missiles, they won't bring down buildings. They aren't filled with enough explosive fuel to do anything close to what happened on 9/11.

Yet now we have TSA thugs manhandling the public to get on buses. And, in a typical example of mission creep, they are also now arresting people on immigration charges. Anything to justify their existence.

If 9/11 justified the creation of this super agency, with massive powers NOT granted by the Constitution, it certainly does NOT justify the same agency now going after people who are boarding buses. And given that many people have taken to these interstate busses, precisely because they were driven off of airplanes by the same sort of TSA thuggery, this is particularly telling. A Zogby poll found that 61% of Americans oppose full body scans and the so-called pat-downs. Pollster John Zogby said: "The airlines should not be happy with 42% of frequent flyers seeking a different mode of transportation due to these enhancements. It seems the airlines and TSA need to come together to find a solution before the American flying public abandons both."

Zogby didn't realize that the TSA has come up with their own solution: assault passengers on alternative modes of transportation as well, to destroy the competitive advantage they have over the airlines.

Here is the excuse that is now being used for this massive expansion of the TSA into the new realm of controlling who is allowed to enter a bus: terrorists might explode a bomb anywhere were people congregate and buses attract the public.

If that justifies Federal Fondlers at the bus stations then the presence of these thugs is justified anywhere. No place is exempt since "terrorists" could detonate a bomb anywhere.

If they can use a bus as a means of exploding bombs they can use vans, like was done in Oklahoma City by Tim McVeigh, or a car as they do in Iraq.

TSA agents regularly and routinely refuse to allow people to catch their flights. They have absolute control over who is free to travel. They create "no fly" lists which ban people, often on the mere basis of their name, from flying. USA Today reported that the TSA is "keeping records of people who make its screeners feel threatened." Notice that  you do NOT need to threaten the bovine buffoons, unfit for decent employment. All you need do is cause them to "feel" threatened. Considering that these rotund troglodytes often claim threats when any questions their authority, it won't take much for them to claim they "felt" threatened.

Actual violence against TSA agents have been few and far between. But now that the TSA is expanding into all modes of transportation there will be no escaping these fondling felons. If anger doesn't escalate I'd be surprised. And with the increase in anger I would expect an increase in violence. Napolitano, who is paranoid of a violent backlash from Americans against her iron fisted tactics is helping to create the very type of movement she fears. And with each new measure she imposes on the public she helps justify the type of violence she claims to oppose. While the federal government does much which is appalling most such activities would not morally justify violent resistance. But the TSA seems bent on getting as close to the border as possible where such actions would be justified. Anyone who opposes such violence ought to be vocally opposing Homeland Security and demanding Napolitano's immediate dismissal, if not trial.

Question their thuggery and you can be banned from the flight you have to catch, or all future flights as well. Quite simply there is no freedom to travel by air in the United States any more. Such freedoms have been destroyed by George Bush, and now Janet Napolitano and her accomplice, Barack Obama.

Now that the TSA is setting up at bus stations the same can be true there. TSA agents will have the same powers to prevent people from boarding buses. The same sort of "no fly" lists can be easily converted into "don't ride" lists. And if Greyhound is not immune then why would city buses be immune? Why would Amtrak be immune? They aren't.

Here is what the TSA said last year in a press release:
During today's morning and evening commutes, Amtrak Police, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel and law enforcement officers from more than 100 federal, state, local, rail and transit police agencies are being deployed at approximately 150 passenger rail stations throughout the Northeast Corridor region in an exercise of expanded counterterrorism and incident response capabilities.

The multi-force security surge across 13 states and Washington, D.C., is NOT in response to any particular threat or incident. Rather, today's deployment is part of Operation ALERTS (Allied Law Enforcement for Rail and Transit Security), a coordinated effort involving activities such as heightened station patrols, increased security presence onboard trains, explosives detection canine sweeps, and random passenger bag inspections at unannounced locations.
Here is what it comes down to: because Janet Napolitano can imagine a potential threat on trains, then the TSA is allowed to harass train passengers much as they do flyers. Now, because Janet Napolitano can imagine a terrorist threat on buses the TSA is allowed to harass bus riders, just as they do flyers.

So already the TSA has started the process to control access to buses and to trains. Why not highways?

Ooops, didn't you know? They already do precisely that as well. You will remember recently that Willie Nelson was arrested because his private tour bus was stopped on the highway by a group of Homeland Security thugs along with local cops acting together. They searched the private bus, found some marijuana and arrested Nelson because of it. Remember that the TSA was taken over by Homeland Security. They are all part of what now amounts to the most dangerous arm of the federal government.

Even the recent seizure of 82 domain names of web sites from around the world was conducted by a branch of Homeland Security. Remember that many of the sites seized by the Feds are not even located in the United States and the site owners were never given search warrants. Instead the warrants were served on VeriSign, which merely "acts as the registry" for domain names. This strikes me as similar to confiscating someone's home without telling them because you notified the title company that you were doing so. VeriSign did not own the sites that were confiscated and had no legal stack in the raids.  

Lost in all these assaults on the public by an agency of the federal government has been the very important shift in the premise behind these "security measures." Airplanes were considered unique in that they could be turned into "weapons of mass destruction" by deranged terrorists. It was the nature of the plane that was used to justify these intrusive measures. But Homeland Security has moved well beyond that initial justification. Now they claim they can act anywhere where they might save lives by preventing terrorist attacks.

But what public venue doesn't fall into that category? From a limited assault on privacy at airports for flyers they have expanded to all modes of public transportation. And instead of targeting potential assaults using airplanes they are now "preventing" terrorism in any place where it is feasible—which is pretty much everywhere.

The new justifications used by Napolitano and her minions is a claim being made by Homeland Security against every public place in America. Surely terrorists can explode a bomb at the Rose Bowl, so that justifies intrusive pat downs against football fans. But any high school basketball game is subject to the same potential threat, as are movie theaters, large restaurants, Times Square at any time of day, even churches. 

Napolitano's expansive definition of her powers are such that she is basically claiming what amounts to dictatorial policies. Homeland Security is now searching flyers, train passengers, buses and private vehicles at highway road blocks. 

Osama bin Laden was unable to deny Americans one single freedom because of his successful attack. Clearly Napolitano has seriously degraded the civil liberties of all Americans. We are now at the point where one federal agency, never authorized by the Constitution, is setting up a stranglehold over the entire transportation infrastructure. It is claiming the power to deny peaceful, law-abiding Americans their right to travel freely unless they subject themselves to warrantless searches, nude photographs or federal perverts feeling up their junk. As much as they talk about terrorists, you are their target, not bin Laden.

If that doesn't make you angry then you aren't paying attention. 

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