TSA: real mission catching terrorists or jailing you for that doobie in your backpack?

Do people blow up trains with unsmoked joints? I was under the impression that it took some sort of explosive.  

Well, I must be wrong, because the TSA is, more and more, showing up at locations outside the airport — bus stations, train stations, subwaysramps leading up to the airport, and now a train station in Oceanside, CA.

Surely, this is only about keeping us, ahem, “safe.”

(Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Torben Hansen)

  • It makes no sense at all to defend trains from terrorism by searching train passengers. A bad guy wouldn’t board a train to attack it. The best attacks on trains are to bomb or booby-trap the tracks. There are tens of thousands of miles of unguarded, unfenced, completely accessible passenger rail tracks criss-crossing our country. I know because on my last Amtrak trip, we were delayed by a loss of signaling capability that happened because thieves stole the signal wire to sell it for the scrap metal value. If it’s that easy to tamper with Amtrak safety equipment, tell me again how searching people’s bags and fondling womens’ breasts at the train station is going to keep train passengers safe?

    Since it’s plain as day that searching train passengers could not possibly make us safer, we must conclude that TSA is at train stations for some completely different purpose – is it obedience training, drug interdiction, or are they just pretending to be doing something?

    • Thak Ferimatten

      You shouldn’t even have to say this. The goal of terror can be achieved spectacularly anywhere along the open tracks. However, it should be noted that train bombings in the past (Bologna, Madrid) were done at the station. Yet, even if security was to be put in place at train stations, other vulnerabilities would be wide open. It just looks like a basic CYA operation to me.

      If there were people consciously trying to engineer our docility to authority in this way, I believe they’re wasting their time and will generate opposition to neutralize their efforts. People just don’t like a stranger’s hands in their crotch, unsurprisingly, and that is not going to change, ever.

      • Daisiemae

        Based on the number of people who vehemently defend TSA and the number of people who go along with TSA no matter what, it seems that a good many people don’t have any problem with a stranger’s hands in their crotch.
        As for me, if a stranger puts his/her hands in my crotch, as we say in the South, they’re going to draw back a nub.

  • cjr001

    TSA’s mission hasn’t been about terrorism for a number of years now, if it ever really was in the first place.

  • I confess that I had to look up Oceanside, CA, to see where it is and why it might need the protection of our brave men in blue (with the tin badges that they got by saving up boxtops from Homeland Security Flakes).

    It turns out that Oceanside is about 45 miles north of San Diego, and adjacent to Camp Pendelton, the obvious terrorist target in the area.

    And then I thought to myself, “TSA sent a mall cop because 70,000 US Marines, sailors, and associated military personnel next door cannot protect themselves.”