Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Myth Buster: TSA Not Setting Up Checkpoints On Tennessee Highways

TSA OfficerDepending on what inaccurate blog post you may have read, you would think that TSA has checkpoints set up all across Tennessee’s highways.  That’s just simply not the case. In fact, it’s really startling to see how off base some of the claims have been.

As part of an ongoing terrorism prevention and response program, the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security hosted a statewide exercise on October 18-20, 2011.  TSA participated through its Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response program. The exercise focused on improving the communications and operating relationships of state, local, and federal agencies when responding to any type of homeland security situation.

TSA VIPR personnel participated at multiple locations in the Tennessee exercise, supporting state and local personnel as they inspected vehicles to identify potential security threats.

In addition, Transportation Security Officers were in attendance to provide information including a leaflet to truck drivers at weigh stations about TSA’s First Observer program that encourages drivers to report potentially suspicious activity or items they see on the road.

TSA officers did not physically screen drivers during this exercise as erroneously reported.  The actual vehicle inspections were conducted by the Tennessee State Highway Patrol just the same as they are done every day.
TSA Blog Team 

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59 comments:

RB said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sm8ahsgZYtE&feature=player_embedded

.............................

Sure looks like TSA employees interfering with Interstate Commerce.

Anonymous said...

Oh RB, now you're saying the TSA doesn't have the First Amendment right to distribute brochures?

Rrayzorr said...

Sure looks like "RB" doesn't know what he's talking about either! It must be contagious from the liberal media!

Anonymous said...

"If you see something, say something."

Ok, I just saw some fascist behavior by a federal agency, where do I report it?

Anonymous said...

With all the local, state and federal regulation now on the transportation industry America doesn't need yet another bureaucracy making up rules and regulation to stifle truckers. What is TSA doing that state and local police don't do? Or, on the federal level, the DoT?

You're a federal agency way overfunded and overstaffed looking for ways to burn up your budget.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"Oh RB, now you're saying the TSA doesn't have the First Amendment right to distribute brochures?"

That's correct, government agencies enjoy no such right.

Anonymous said...

Let me see, you stop people and search their cars. They're not allowed to refuse.

How is this different from setting up a checkpoint?

Nadav said...

Catching terrorists using road blocks is extremely difficult.

If it was an exercise, I don't think it should've been a state-wide one. Bothering drivers of an entire state is a huge loss of time and spending.

Nadav

Anonymous said...

But it is not a myth that you are virtually strip-searching people, is it??

Anonymous said...

Were TSA agents at the checkpoint? Were they dressed in clothing identifying them as TSA agents? Were they on the clock? Did they keep people from going about their business while they visited with them?

Why?

Mike Toreno said...

Bob, can you tell us when the TSA is going to start firing people for not knowing what Nexus cards are, or for not knowing other things they have been trained on and are supposed to know?

Anonymous said...

Funny how these facist bureaucracies stifle until something happens and then you same people scream "Why weren't you prepared?" You can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

What a huge waste of time and money.

The only purpose of the TSA is the continued employment of people in the TSA.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Funny how these facist bureaucracies stifle until something happens and then you same people scream "Why weren't you prepared?" You can't have it both ways."

I think most of the anti-TSA people here know that the TSA can't actually stop terrorism. If something happens what we'll be saying is "told you so".

It's the TSA supporters that will be be screaming because they actually expected to be protected.

Anonymous said...

TSA VIPR personnel participated at multiple locations in the Tennessee exercise, supporting state and local personnel as they inspected vehicles to identify potential security threats....

....TSA officers did not physically screen drivers during this exercise


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Well Bob, to avoid additional inaccuracies, why don't you tell everyone exactly what the TSA did during this exercise?

What did they do to "support"?

Anonymous said...

The TSA can't staff a professional workforce in US airports much less any other venue. It's comical, but highly discouraging, to watch your bureucratic disconnected TSA leadership tout unfounded success of an organization that is perceived as a failure by so many taxpaying business travlers like myself.

Anonymous said...

And we should believe you because...?

oyce said...

"TSA VIPR personnel participated at multiple locations in the Tennessee exercise, supporting state and local personnel as they inspected vehicles to identify potential security threats."

I'm sure the drug dogs were working hard to "identify potential security threats."

Anonymous said...

Isn't there a photo right there of a TSA agent standing at a truck? To my knowledge, trucks do not fly; they drive on highways.

Curtis said...

Anonymous at 7:53, the very few pro-TSA people are also trying to "have it both ways." If something unfortunate happens (like the underwear bomber), it serves as justification to install naked scanners nation-wide. If nothing happens, it is proof that the TSA is doing a great job to deter terrorists. Just read some of TSA officer JUSTSAYIN's posts for proof of that line of thinking.

Most of us who oppose the TSA are willing to accept the infinitesimal risk of attack, since there are thousands of greater risks we encounter every day, and nothing beyond pre-911 security measures have been proven to make us ANY safer. You know how some people say that the lottery is essentially a tax on people that can't do math? The TSA is security for the same people.

Anonymous said...

you would think that TSA has checkpoints set up all across Tennessee’s highways. That’s just simply not the case.
...
... TSA participated through its Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response program.

Okay, Bob, you got us there. The TSA, itself, didn't "set up" the check points, (although their Mother agency the DHS did, so what's the diff?)- they just "participated" and "supported".


As for "See something Say something", that harkens back to the Cold War days when we were happy not to live in 'Russia', where kids were indoctrinated to turn in their friends and families for unusual behavior.

The USSR is dead, long live the USSA.

Anonymous said...

I think that at this point you are just splitting hairs and spinning the story.

I doubt the state patrol went to the TSA and asked for your help "supporting" them.

Anonymous said...

So wait. You're saying that the TSA is not setting up checkpoints... and then, in the next paragraph, talking about the checkpoints that the TSA participated in. What kind of doublespeak is this?

Anonymous said...

Bob,

If you are going to complain about inaccuracies in media reporting of this event, you should tell us exactly what the TSA personnel were doing.

What exactly does "supporting state and local personnel as they inspected" mean?

Anonymous said...

I drove a truck for 10 years and still have my CDL. I'd like to point out to the public, in order to legally inspect a commercial vehicle, that person is required, by federal law, to be certified by the state. NOT the US government. A TSA agent has no business inspecting commercial vehicles. A TSA agent is NOT a police officer. At this point in time, TSA has no legal authority outside of their assigned airports.
The TSA needs to be held accountable for their actions. This is not Nazi gestappo Germany.

CJ said...

Oh, wonderful. So drivers' 4th Amendment Rights were violated in the name of an exercise?! Here's an idea: Next time the federal government wants to illegally search someone's home or take their pet fish, just call it an "exercise" and it'll all be ok, right?

Anonymous said...

Mission creep. Only the TSA is doing it in leaps and bounds. If TSA people were present at the checkpoint and within view of the motorists being stopped then they were participating in a highway checkpoint. Case closed....

Anonymous said...

Ok so I watched the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sm8ahsgZYtE&feature=player_embedded.

All I saw were state troopers doing the usual commercial vehicle inspection while TSA passed out leaflets. Other than being a waste of time (troopers could have passed out the leaflets) whats the problem?

Ayn R. Key said...

So ... they didn't really do it? Who are we going to believe, the TSA or our lying eyes?

Your agency was there, participating. The participation means they did it. You are saying "but we weren't alone, and we weren't the lead agency." Sorry, you still did it.

Anonymous said...

As part of an ongoing terrorism prevention and response program, the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security hosted a statewide exercise on October 18-20, 2011. TSA participated through its Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response program. The exercise focused on improving the communications and operating relationships of state, local, and federal agencies when responding to any type of homeland security situation.
-----------------------------------

Am I missing something here? It clearly states that it was an exercise between state, local, and federal agencies to test communications and operating relationships. These types of exercises happen all the time across this great nation of ours. And after 9/11 exposed weaknesses in our law enforcement communities abilities to communicate effictively amongst each other. These type of exercises are vital to improving response time to time critical emergencies. And not all exercises focus on disaster response, some like this are designed to improve working relations with different agencies.
Please stop reading more into these types of stories than what there is.

Susan said...

I like how they call it an 'exercise'.. like that is going to make it better! This was a check point and catching terrorist this way is nearly impossible, you have to catch them before they get into the country not on some random highway in the middle of nowhere.

AK-VStrom said...

Bob, your spin on things doesn't fool anyone. As if TSA's behaviour in the airports wasn't bad enough, TSA has also conducted VIPR operations in train stations and on the highways in Tennessee. Whether TSA or Tennessee State Troopers were actually conducting the searches is irrelevant; you were there, and you were participating. The American people are getting really tired of TSA's thuggery. What will it take for you to get the message?!?!

Anonymous said...

I don't care which agency is responsible. This seems like a violation of the constitution and the principles that this country was founded on. What's next...searching people's homes as part of an "exercise"?

What would happen if a motorist refused this search? Would they be arrested? Would the car be searched anyway?

Anonymous said...

"What would happen if a motorist refused this search? Would they be arrested? Would the car be searched anyway?"

I'll let you know if I'm ever approached for a search. My car is not being searched without a warrant and that warrant must be served by LE. No TSO is going to search my car unless I try to carry it on to an aircraft :)

Stop the insanity of security theater.

Anonymous said...

So, the inaccuracy was that the TSA did not "set up" the checkpoints, they only staffed them? That's parcing things awfully closely.

RB said...

Question for the TSA Blog Team.

Is it TSA's position that travel is a privilege or a citizens right?

This shouldn't take anymore than2 seconds to answer so how about it TSA Blog Team?

Mark Smith said...

This is taking time. As you know people are very busy now a days so we have to wait public responses. Personally I feel this is one of the best step indeed.

Caroline Sound said...

Why is there such hostility to TSA officials? It never ceases to amaze me the types of comments posted on this site!

Anonymous said...

Caroline Sound said...
"Why is there such hostility to TSA officials?"

Because the TSA is hostile to the American public.

Anonymous said...

"Caroline Sound said...
Why is there such hostility to TSA officials? It never ceases to amaze me the types of comments posted on this site!"

I'm hostile because I continue to see the erosion of our rights and protections of the the constitution in the name of safety. I keep hearing that "if you don't like airport security, drive". Apparently driving is not an option anymore either with these highway checkpoints. What's next...stopping people on the sidewalk? Walking is a form of transportation. How about entering homes as part of an "exercise"? If you have nothing to hide, you should be ok with that, correct?

I can tolerate excessive security at an airport. I don't want to see it on the highway. Although you are much more likely to be killed on the highway.

Anonymous said...

They are checking for vibrators.
__________

The TSA: "Get Your Freak On!"

Chris said...

while generally observing a lot of foolish behavior on the part of tsa over the years and siding with most of the commentators on preferring more liberty over yet more security, i am impressed at the agency for having these kinds of open forums for debate and comment. Regardless of any individual's bias, we all need more HEALTHY debate about our society. good for tsa.

Anonymous said...

Transportation Security Administration

The single most hated and reviled agency in the history of the United States government.

Great Work!

Robert F. said...

"I see 1st, 4th, and 5th amendments as a privilege that is a public safety issue," Congressional Quarterly quoted TSA head John Pistole saying last year, when defending the new airport screening devices and advanced pat-downs the agency instituted. (Okay Paraphrased a little)

Anonymous said...

http://www.disinfo.com/2011/11/tennessee-becomes-first-state-with-tsa-checkpoints-on-highway/

false huh?

Anonymous said...

I would rather face the danger than give away my rights for the illusion of security.

Anonymous said...

So, the blogs reporting that TSA has checkpoints set up all over the state are wrong, TSA is just setting up checkpoints all over the state looking for terrorists. GOT IT! call me a happy sheep :)

Birmingham Homes said...

I am also unsure what TSA is doing on the highways setting up roadblocks. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they had a tip that something was going down.

Mr. A said...

I believe the reason so much fear about TSA and DHS exists, is that any time any one agency is given such broad and sweeping power there is always a potential for abuse and the desire to retain that power should its mission be a success. The DHS has shown that terrorist attack are in decline, they have issued report after report claiming as much. As of Jan it was recommended that it should shift its focus from terrorism to intel gathering. The CIA, the DEA and other state agencies have all tried to maintain their funding and power when the mission they were created to do was no longer enough to sustain them. I am glad that DHS did a good job reducing terrorism, I however do not believe it should shift its agenda as much as it should scale back its footprint relative to its need. When any security agency goes "fishing" for targets it always ends up with innocent people being targeted unjustly. An action that undermines the original mission of DHS and TSA to protect our country from the threat of foreign terrorists, by making the citizenry fearful and less likely to report honest suspicious behavior. If I were the DHS I would be working to improve my image and gain the trust of the country not alienate it and breed confusion and fear

Anonymous said...

It looks like a test run to see if the American people will tolerate it before they start expanding.The TSA isn't a local cop shop and works outside of the constitution.How does this page disprove the theory?It just says that they set up checkpoints in tennessee which is what it was supposed to debunk.

TimO said...

Is this blog a joke?? Not setting up checkpoints? Instead they just stop vehicles and look for suspicious activity and report it to local or federal authorities. Of course that's not a checkpoint!!! You couldn't see a police state if the state you lived in was actually named "police"!! Snap out of it!

Anonymous said...

You stop this citizen without cause and I guarantee you will be hauling me in for some trumped up charge as I will not be either quiet or cooperative.

Anonymous said...

Rewritten Article

Is this blog a joke?? Not ambience up checkpoints? Instead they just stop cars and attending for apprehensive action and address it to bounded or federal authorities. Of advance that's not a checkpoint!!! You couldn't see a badge accompaniment if the accompaniment you lived in was in fact called "police".

Anonymous said...

This article is pure Orwellian doublespeak. TSA was on Tennessee Highways, but they weren't actually. Complete with photos of them being, but not being on the highways.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the TSA on taking the place of the IRS in the average American's heart!

Trucker said...

The TSA has a tough job to do, especially since they are a young agency still trying to gain their footing. Being a truck driver I am constantly frustrated with some of their decisions, but I try and cut them some slack.

Anonymous said...

Tsa seeks to have tsa checkpoints on highways stated yesterday.....what do you have to say now

Anonymous said...

Wow. Doublespeak much?

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-11-30/html/2012-28997.htm

Anonymous said...

Agreed, and consider if i go stop traffic on the highway/freeway/interstate id be in done trouble for interfering with interstate commerce