Roy Simonds photographed the scene at Back Bay station shortly before 6 p.m., wonders if it was real or just part of the security show:
Guy was too calm, not aggravated, then went down pretty easy. Looked "staged". Other TSAs pretty calm at table.
Was he arrested? This looks like a you tube special. The police look like they would rather be at Dunkin Dougnuts than dealing with this gentleman.
Will they be doing a passion play for Easter? They would have put up a "See Something Say Something" nativity scene and detained the wise men for immigration checks, but they would have to put the sheep and donkeys in crates.
I wonder: if they don't do a staged take down, does their commander make them choose up sides for body cavity search training?
In just a couple of weeks, a certain bearded individual who's a known head of a mysterious overseas organization is planning - nay, promising - to violate American airspace sovereignty, bringing livestock and manufactured goods into the country in the dead of night without passing through any border checkpoint. Why aren't Americans clamoring for something to be done? Why not leave milk and cookies out for every interloper?
that we tolerate this kind of "law enforcement."
You have the right to not be treated like a terrorist on public transportation. The state will try to protect your life and liberty on public transportation without violating civil rights or creating a police state where your possessions can be search without probable cause or a warrant.
I am horrified that we tolerate this.
What's that sound I hear in the background? It's not the approaching Orange Line train. Must be either the sound of your tax dollars being sucked down the Homeland Security drain, or the sound of the Fourth Amendment being shredded. It sounds like a combination of both.
Not a pleasant sound.
This is like what I saw at Park Street last week. Fare dodger refused to show ID? Perhaps the security check point was just cooincidentally there at the same time.
There's Supreme Court precedent that supports these checkpoints in the context of the Fourth Amendment -
The fourth amendment does not allow for checkpoints whose purpose is general crime fighting: http://supreme.justia.com/us/531/32/case.html
However the supreme court has upheld the use of checkpoints to prevent persons who may be harmful to the public from injuring others: http://supreme.justia.com/us/496/444/case.html
As discussed in an earlier thread, these checkpoints swab the bags of at most around .03% of daily weekday passengers, at a TSA-subsidized cost of a million dollars per year. How is this in any shape or form a deterrent to someone who wants to attack the T? And if a terrorist merely blows himself up at the checkpoint and kills five cops and passengers about to go through the faregates, then what do you do? Randomly stop people walking down the streets and swab their bags?
The place to fight a terrorist bombing is not right at the faregates. It's a bit too late if a terrorist has gotten his bomb that far.
Unless I am in a REAL hurry, I take a walk to the next station on the line, or grab a bus. The whole thing is ridiculous and I am not having a part in it.
Bravo. But, ssshhh, not so loud, you don't want the terrorists to know that if they try boarding at Government Center and the TSA is doing its show, they can walk in three minutes to Bowdoin or Park. Or if they're entering at Kendall or Central or Harvard and see the TSA show, they can walk to the other entrance of the same station, where the TSA show will almost definitely not be happening. And definitely don't tell the big bad terrorists that they can enter at a street stop on the E line and almost definitely not be harassed. Or board one of the above-ground Silver Line stops and be at South Station in a few minutes.
Meanwhile, the rest of the riders could not care less that this $1 million/year TSA show is not adding to their security one bit. And by diverting at least five cops from more useful duty, like actually patrolling platforms, it may be making them less safe from the types of crime one is more likely to encounter on the T.
Even if it wasn't. This whole bullshit "security" program is a big show as well as a huge waste of taxpayer money.
TSA checkpoints in train stations now?
what is going on here exactly?
For crying out loud what are we turning into?
>> For crying out loud what are we turning into?
A country whose legislature and executive don't have the courage to rein in a Department of Homeland Security and risk appearing "soft on terror".
This is evidence that the terrorists have won.
They have provoked an autoimmune self-destruction of our liberties and system of constitutional law.
Except for the fact that way too many Americans are of the mindset of "anything for security" (not even considering whether the given policy or action is actually adding one bit to safety) and are terrified of "another 9/11". Anything that can "prevent another 9/11" is worth it, privacy-be-damned. Way too many Americans also subscribe to the idea that "if you have nothing to hide, then government searches are no big deal."
If you want this to stop, you have to get a significant portion of the population to say that they are willing to tolerate losing x people per year to terrorist attacks. Then you wouldn't have the politicians feeling like they have to do "anything for security" for fear of being blamed when the inevitable happens. Until then, this is the new normal.
Paradoxically, you'd have the people least likely to suffer a terrorist attack (think flyover country) least likely to say that, whilst those in the big cities (most likely to be struck) saying, yeah, okay, I guess I'll run the risk (after all, the City can be a dangerous place on any given day). I always thought it was an interesting dichotomy.
People are notoriously awful at gauging risk. And for that reason alone, the TSA and its fear-mongering are not going away.
The same "anything for security" folks who laud these TSA operations on the T will not cease to remind you of the train attacks in Madrid and London. "Look what happened there; I see no reason why it could not happen here." These people conveniently ignore the billions of mass transit rides that did not end in a bombing.
People also tend to correlate risk with their perceived level of control. In a plane or train you're traveling with hundreds of strangers, any one of whom could be concealing a bomb.
In your own car, you have a (false) sense of control. Imagine a drunk driver caused a horrific crash that killed a dozen people. How many people would then advocate for sobriety checkpoints on all major roads every morning and evening rush hour?
In the decade since the 9/11/01 attacks, over 150,000 Americans have been murdered. But because these crimes tend to mostly involve just one victim at a time, and not the dozens that might be killed in one bombing, you don't see these same "anything for security" folk clamoring for police to set up random sidewalk checkpoints to stem the murder rate.
Here's the best argument to anyone who lauds these TSA subway operations: Would you feel safe in an aviation system where most airports never have any security checkpoints, where passengers go right from curb to plane, but where for a few hours a day, checkpoints are set up at one or two airports to screen one of every ten passengers boarding a plane? If the answer is that the person would not feel safe flying in such a system, then ask them how they could feel safe taking the T, because that is the exact setup these TSA operations entail.
I see an unattended backpack in the lower right of this photo.
Did anyone say something?
I asked one of the TSA agents if they knew about the unattended backpack.
He told me that it was one of their backpacks and that is why it was placed next to their equipment.
I then asked about the unattended orange case and he gave me the same answer.
I was going to ask him about the wires (since in the movies bombs have wires attached to them), but by then I figured out what they were probably for so I didn't ask.