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Ghassemi reports: "You're probably used to seeing TSA's signature blue uniforms at the airport, but now agents are hitting the interstates to fight terrorism with Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR). 'Where is a terrorist more apt to be found? Not these days on an airplane more likely on the interstate,' said Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons."

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security announced a partnership with the US Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration to randomly inspect vehicles on highways in Tennessee,10/20/11. (photo: Tennessee News Press)
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security announced a partnership with the US Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration to randomly inspect vehicles on highways in Tennessee,10/20/11. (photo: Tennessee News Press)




TSA Expands Checkpoints From Airports to Highways

By Adam Ghassemi, WTVF-TV News

05 November 11

 

 

ou're probably used to seeing TSA's signature blue uniforms at the airport, but now agents are hitting the interstates to fight terrorism with Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR).

"Where is a terrorist more apt to be found? Not these days on an airplane more likely on the interstate," said Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons.

Tuesday Tennessee was first to deploy VIPR simultaneously at five weigh stations and two bus stations across the state.

Agents are recruiting truck drivers, like Rudy Gonzales, into the First Observer Highway Security Program to say something if they see something.

"Not only truck drivers, but cars, everybody should be aware of what's going on, on the road," said Gonzales.

It's all meant to urge every driver to call authorities if they see something suspicious.

"Somebody sees something somewhere and we want them to be responsible citizens, report that and let us work it through our processes to abate the concern that they had when they saw something suspicious," said Paul Armes, TSA Federal Security Director for Nashville International Airport.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol checked trucks at the weigh station with drug and bomb sniffing dogs during random inspections.

"The bottom line is this: if you see something suspicious say something about it," Gibbons said Tuesday.

The random inspections really aren't any more thorough than normal, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott who says paying attention to details can make a difference. Trott pointed out it was an Oklahoma state trooper who stopped Timothy McVeigh for not having a license plate after the Oklahoma City bombing in the early 1990s.

Tuesday's statewide "VIPR" operation isn't in response to any particular threat, according to officials.

Armes said intelligence indicates law enforcement should focus on the highways as well as the airports.

 

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+46 # michelle 2011-11-05 22:23
Can we spell 'police state' folks. Shades of the great old song by John McCutcheon-- 'I Wanna Be a Spy in Ashcroft's Army' in the CD Hail to the Chief.


I saw him on TV last night
In a suit of somber blue
He said it was time for all Americans
To do what we must do
Take out your x-ray glasses
And your decoder rings
We need ordinary people
To keep an eye on things

So…

I wanna be in Ashcroft’s Army
I wanna be a spy
I wanna watch my neighbor’s doings
Kiss your rights goodbye
In this legal devolution
A perfect chance for retribution
Let’s just can the Constitution
I wanna be a spy
 
 
0 # Adoregon 2011-11-07 13:17
RTFO
 
 
+49 # DPM 2011-11-06 00:14
Every dictatorship has had this same sort of "Tell on your neighbor" scheme to "protect" citizens from themselves. And, people love to "tell" on those they dislike.
 
 
+24 # MainStreetMentor 2011-11-06 06:51
Yes ... its control by fear, intimidation and threat. Every despot in the history of the world used such tactics and ploys to further their arm of control. Orwellian prophecy ...
 
 
+17 # Glen 2011-11-06 09:14
Yep - folks do tell on each other, DPM. Check out those who turned in neighbors during the drought in the South, when restricting water use was paramount. One little mistake or one misinterpretati on of an action prompted folks to call the cops, rather than discuss it as adults. It doesn't take much to turn folks against each other; it starts in elementary school.
 
 
+37 # Richard1908 2011-11-06 01:11
In Australia, we call people who snitch on others "dobbers", and dobbing in isn't going to win you any friends. Your country will do as it likes, but from a distance America no longer looks like "the land of the free and the home of the brave" to me.
 
 
+19 # Artemis 2011-11-06 07:02
The terrible thing about this 'tell on your neighbour' scheme is that many people are harrassed unreaonably just because someone with a different mindset feels that they are suspicious or doing something they personally find wierd. And the indocrination doesn't go away even when the society moves again towards more freedom and democracy, it literally is like a disease that permeates the society for decades. I have witnessed this in many countries...e.g . in post-war Germany, even in the 70s many ordinary (older) citizens still felt it necessary to overly police others. In Iran, where the US and British-support ed Sawak had an estimated 60.000 spying on everyone, it has never ended. The spread of hyped-up investigative forces everywhere is deeply worrying and a complete waste of money as we have seen, because they are so ineffective when it cmes to preventing most serious threats. 9/11 is just one example.
 
 
+17 # MainStreetMentor 2011-11-06 07:10
If there is nothing wrong,
We’ll fabricate a threat
Once the people then believe
We’ll incite them, so we’ll get …

Attentions so diverted
They’ll not see the truth behind
THEN is when we’ll engage
In actions clandestine

We’ll have ‘em pointing fingers …
And accusations make …
Then, too late, they’ll know
The “threat” was really fake!

But by then we’ll have our way
For profits through our greed
To hell with the populace
And what they say’s their need

Yes! Mis-direct and conquer
The Establishment Will win
(Save, of course, for
“Occupy…” we musn’t let them “in”)
 
 
+26 # John Locke 2011-11-06 09:45
I think its time to stand up to these schemes, they are actually done to take away our rights one by one, if the government is for it, i am against it...and I am part of the 99%
 
 
+5 # kootenayguy 2011-11-06 11:54
Was there not a similar highway spying initiative right after 9/11? I seem to remember that, after citizens were urged to report suspicious behaviour, Sikh truck drivers on Interstate highways were shot at. "After all, they were wearin' turbans. Musta been A-Rab terroris'"
 
 
+5 # Activista 2011-11-06 13:19
Talked to one person on the street - eager to "protect/save" USA from Obama (Obama is racist, Muslim, faked his education, made hundreds of millions, etc.). Where are these people getting this "information" crap?
He would kill any protester to protect HIS country - Christians.
Started to discuss ... but then stopped .. there was NO middle ground. These types have brainwashed police on their side ...
 
 
+9 # gentle 2011-11-06 13:21
Welcome to American gulag, your checked in but you'll never be able to leave. My apologies to the "Eagles". To everyone that cares, "W's" Homeland Security has many more WMF (weapons of mass fear) to deploy. Wait till they get out the sonic stuff out and block the crowds in so that escape from this new less than lethal weapon is not possible.
 
 
+6 # Capn Canard 2011-11-06 16:55
They are so paranoid, or they are trying to control the people by keeping them crazy with fear. You decide.
 
 
+6 # CatsCradle 2011-11-06 23:47
ANd they all said I was paranoid when I said that the words "Homeland Security" gave me the willies. The librarians saved us the last time.......who' s going to help us now?
I may not Always be right, but just often enough to REALLY piss people off
 
 
+13 # fredboy 2011-11-07 08:43
If we encounter a cop doing something strange, who do we call?
 

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