Increasing focus on searches of travelers disembarking from trains
Paul Joseph Watson
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Random TSA ‘spot searches’ are expanding to Los Angeles’ busiest train station as the federal agency gets set to receive a massive boost in funding as part of a program to set up thousands more unnanounced checkpoints across the country.
“An all-too-familiar sight at LAX and the rest of the nation’s airports will soon be coming to the city’s busiest train station,” reports CBS News.
“Rail passengers have started seeing Transportation Security Administration on patrol at Union Station on a more frequent basis.”
The TSA is set to deploy 12 more VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) teams in addition to the 25 already active, who will be responsible for manning checkpoints on highways, in bus and train terminals, at sports events and even high school prom nights.
Over the course of this year, roughly 9,300 checkpoints were set up, with that figure set to increase in 2012.
The demand for $24 million in extra funding is in addition to the $110 million spent in fiscal year 2011. The figures are completely independent from the federal agency’s role inside the nation’s airports, which costs taxpayers $5 billion a year.
The extra money is being demanded despite the fact that there is “no proof that the roving viper teams have foiled any terrorist plots or thwarted any major threat to public safety,” according to a recent L.A. Times report, which also highlights how the TSA’s sniffer dogs are used to single out people for questioning if the dog smells the scent of the owner’s pets on their clothing.
“Those searches may happen when passengers step off a train into the station, instead of the more expected pre-boarding search,” reports Lindsay William-Ross.
The use of searches on passengers who are disembarking from trains has become more prevalent. In one instance, passengers who had already completed their journey when arriving in Savannah were subjected to airport-style pat downs.