Saturday, June 23, 2012

Is TSA Laying The Groundwork For Screening Of Local Mass Transit Passengers? H.R.3140 Calls For "Intelligence Sharing", But It May Be A Trojan Horse For More Intrusion

A U.S. House bill which would allow the Transportation Security Administration to share intelligence collected with local mass transit authorities is generating concern that TSA may be laying the groundwork to expand passenger screening to include local mass transit users.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA12) authored H.R.3140, entitled the Mass Transit Intelligence Prioritization Act, which would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to direct the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize the assignment of officers and analysts to certain State and urban area fusion centers to enhance the security of mass transit systems. On May 30th, 2012, H.R.3140 passed the full House by voice vote (which means there's no recorded roll call vote HERE), and on June 4th, it was referred to the U.S. Senate, where it was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The members of the committee are listed HERE; they include Senator Mark Begich.

Although the bill itself does not authorize TSA to actually expand existing passenger screening operations, as Congresswoman Speier herself points out, there is legitimate concern that it could be used as a pretext for doing so in the future. After all, the power of TSA has been continually expanded ever since its inception. Once restricted to airports, TSA has expanded their reach to include screening of passengers on Amtrak trains, including one notorious incident in Savannah, Georgia in February 2011 when TSA screened passengers AFTER they disembarked from a train. TSA has also been running VIPR teams on interstate highways, most notably in Tennessee, stopping truckers at mobile checkpoints to look for "drugs".

Expanding TSA screening to include local mass transit in the future would be an example of continuing mission creep and an intolerable intrusion upon our civil liberties. Furthermore, it may actually deter people from using public transport, at a time when we are trying to get MORE people to use public transport. This would be an example of the federal government working at cross-purposes with itself.

Those who are concerned that H.R.3140 may be a Trojan horse for more government intrusion should contact one of the members of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.


  1. What are you thralls going to do about it????????You know you are a docile policemanized people full of verbal flatus with paralysing brains.Learn to live with it.The best is yet to come.

  2. Speier is an idiot. She apparently wants TSA to destroy other forms of transportation too.TSA needs to be replaced, not have its role expanded.
    This is a corrupt and failed agency staffed with pedophiles and criminals. Last week a TSA screener reached inside a 73 year old woman’s bra at a checkpoint in Bozeman, Montana while she was at the checkpoint in full view of other passengers.
    Two weeks ago CBS 3 reported that a Catholic priest who was removed from the ministry over child molestation allegations now is a TSA Supervisor at Philadelphia International Airport. This week they fired seven screeners at PHL for bribery but allow a known pedophile to continue groping children at the checkpoint.
    Two weeks ago, they lied to Congress about having $200 million in new, unused equipment hidden in Dallas that they were going to destroy to conceal the waste. Then we saw footage of a TSA screener purposely smacking a Congressman in the privates and the screener is still on the job.
    A month ago, TSA molested an elderly couple and robbed them of $300, molested three children, a ten year old with a diabetes pump, a four year old who hugged her grandma and a seven year old with cerebral palsy, twice!
    There were a total of 91 TSA workers arrested in the last 18 months including 12 arrested for child sex crimes, over 25 for theft, ten for smuggling and one for murder. Even Kip Hawley, the last TSA Director, has called for its overhaul.
    In April, a report from Atlanta indicates that they are allowing airport workers to operate in secure areas of airports without completing background checks and revealed they not reporting half of the security breaches at Newark.
    TSA continues to fail 70% of GAO security tests and contraband still gets through security on a daily basis. Yet the TSA apologists continue to say that this crime and abuse by TSA is somehow improving airline security.
    This agency does not improve airport security, their incompetence and corruption endangers travelers. It is long past time to replace this agency with a sensible and effective system and prosecute those responsible for this travesty.

  3. And the verbal flatus keeps going,going,going.