Tuesday, September 04, 2012

TSA Becomes More Intrusive, Now Swabs Beverages Purchased Inside Sterile Areas At Airports

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) continues to become more progressively intrusive. The proof is presented in the video embedded below, where TSA agents now test drinks purchased by travelers inside the "sterile areas" of airports long after they have already passed security. Although the story comes from Alex Jones' Infowars website, the video was filmed by someone not associated with Infowars, which increases the credibility of the story.


A brief explanation from the person who uploaded the video, taken at the Columbus, OH airport:

“My wife and son came back from a coffee shop just around the corner, then we were approached. I asked them what they were doing. One of the TSA ladies said that they were checking for explosive chemicals (as we are drinking them). I said 'really – inside the terminal? You have got to be kidding me'. I asked them if they wanted to swab us all. She responded with something like, ‘yes sometimes we need to do that’. I then asked if she wanted a urine sample…nonetheless, the TSA is way out of control,” he adds, joking that the TSA’s next move could be to visit people’s homes before they even leave for the airport".

Ever since the various private security contractors were federalized into TSA during the Bush II Administration, TSA has aggressively sought to expand their scope. Once associated exclusively with airport and seaport security, they now check bags of people arriving at the airport who were there only to pick up passengers. They even go so far as to screen passengers at train stations whenever the stations are connected to the airport, and will walk around the rental cars and inspect cars coming into airport parking garages. TSA VIPR teams have also stopped truckers and other motorists on interstate highways to check for "contraband".

This not only represents mission creep, but is contrary to the legitimate expectations of the public, who were sold on TSA because it was associated exclusively with airport security. The sterile areas behind the TSA security cordon are presumed to be safer than the rest of the airport. If TSA agents intend to conduct additional random screening within the sterile areas, then that undermines the whole concept behind the sterile areas, and transforms the entire screening experience into a feelgood enterprise designed merely to "show the security flag". TSA has not yet responded to this new video on their official blog.

If TSA wants to expand their mission beyond basic port security, then they need to subject this to Congressional oversight. There should be hearings before the applicable Congressional committees where the elected representatives of the people can express public concern and extend public oversight. While we don't ask TSA to disclose all their tactics in order to avoid tipping off prospective terrorists, we should require they get permission before transforming themselves into just another federal alphabet-soup law enforcement agency. Alaska State Rep. Sharon Cissna, who secured the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House race against Congressman Don Young in the August 28th primary election, continues to make TSA behavior a major issue in her campaign.

1 comment:

  1. Are they doing this because their secure area is so porous that even they don’t trust it?

    TSA seem to be deliberately trying to make a joke out of airline security and make Americans look like fools in the process.

    In two years they have added taking naked pictures of us and our kids, fondling our privates in public, exposing us to untested x-ray scanners and subjecting us to random, warrantless interrogations that are illegal for law enforcement.

    Now the expose people’s drinks to some unknown chemical when OSHA regulations require a Manufacturers Safety Data Sheet for any substance that humans contact. Why not test the drinks at the vendor instead of after a person pays $8 for a cup of coffee?

    What’s next from this erratic agency, random executions? This has become a sick sideshow and we can’t take another four years of Pistole and Napolitano. TSA must be made to act responsibly before it reaches the point when public resentment ends in an ugly backlash.