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Old Aug 24, 11, 9:20 am   #1
 
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Amtrak: Ask A Security Expert

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Old Aug 24, 11, 9:29 am   #2
 
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Thanks for the heads-up! I just posted the following.

Quote:
Chief O’Connor, could you please expand on the relationship between Amtrak's police forces and the TSA? Many of us are familiar with the VIPR incident in Savannah earlier this year. Can the TSA enter an Amtrak station and perform screening of passengers and belongings without any input from Amtrak police? Or does Amtrak need to authorize the TSA to perform such searches on Amtrak property?

I think many Amtrak supporters would agree with me that one of the chief benefits of taking the train in the year 2011 is *not* having to deal with the TSA's tactics at airports. Many of us would be sorely disappointed to see the TSA encroach onto Amtrak.

Thank you for your response.
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Old Aug 24, 11, 11:53 am   #3
 
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Already one of the comments:

"julie, How are the airports procedures illegal? Its your choice to fly or not to fly,"

It is time they just start searching everybody randomly on the street. Will people say "it is your choice to leave your home"?

I was in the DC area, a city I hate to go to for various reasons, and in my rental car, getting off an exit in VA and the police were randomly pulling over and searching cars. Not even a DUI checkpoint (which I don't agree with either) since this was 8AM on Friday morning.

When will people put a stop to this?
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Old Aug 24, 11, 12:12 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by kirkbauer View Post
I was in the DC area, a city I hate to go to for various reasons, and in my rental car, getting off an exit in VA and the police were randomly pulling over and searching cars. Not even a DUI checkpoint (which I don't agree with either) since this was 8AM on Friday morning.
Was it on the Dulles Toll Road, by chance (the airport access lanes down the middle of it)? Sometimes the scumbag Airport Police like to play "catch a thief" and randomly pull cars over in the hopes of finding someone who's "cut" through the airport in an effort to avoid traffic and their unreasonably high tolls. (Though after coming down the Greenway the access road tolls seem like a small pittance.)

It also could have been for driving in one of the HOV lanes without having 2 or more people in the car.

Pulling someone over is one thing, and I'd certainly comply with that. Searching vehicles without a warrant is something totally different though. Record the event (audio, and perhaps video if you can), then go directly to an attorney and file a large lawsuit against the department and officers personally. Unfortunately it seems like the only way to teach most cops some very important lessons is to try to make sure their retirement age is negatively impacted by their decisions.
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Old Aug 24, 11, 12:20 pm   #5
 
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Or explain the exact circumstances to a civil rights attorney so you can find out if there are court decisions not being complied with.
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Old Aug 24, 11, 12:23 pm   #6
 
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It was on I66, heading West from DCA, about 5-10 minutes after I left the airport. It wasn't HOA violations because they were doing it on the exit ramp: the police were either waving people ahead or waving them to the side of the road to search them.

Last time I was in DC I took a 3-hour tour with my wife before our flight left on a Sunday. The DOT did a surprise inspection of our bus at the first stop of the tour. There was a 1hour wait for the actual inspection during which we had to stand out in the heat. Then they said there might be an air leak in one of the tires so they wouldn't allow the bus to run again. Then we had to wait another 1 hour for a new bus to come from the company out in the suburbs. The tour ended up lasting 3.5 hours with 2 hours of it standing in the sun waiting on the DOT. Why can't they inspect the buses out at HQ when there aren't a bunch of tourists on the buses?

Ready for the scary part? I thanked the DOT officers for showing all of the foreign tourists that this was really the "land of the free." Later I was bored and pissed off so I pulled out my zoom lens and started taking pictures of the DOT officers doing the inspections. The local DC police officer told me to put my camera away before he arrested me. In most cases I would have ignored the threat and kept shooting, but my wife was with me, our flight was in about 6 hours, we already checked out of our hotel, and I don't hear nice things about DC jails.

Earlier that day I was in the Holocaust Museum and I was struck by a series of photos of Jewish prisoners being marched further into Germany towards the end of the war. The pictures were clearly taken secretly by civilians who were afraid of being caught photographing the authorities. I had no idea I would be afraid to take pictures of the authorities in America's capital later that same day.
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Old Aug 24, 11, 9:40 pm   #7
 
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Ironic how one part of the world is headed toward MORE freedom while the main country fighting to make that possible is marching in the opposite direction. We must all be geniuses to keep that contradiction in our minds without going crazy.
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Old Aug 26, 11, 2:00 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by LuvAirFrance View Post
Ironic how one part of the world is headed toward MORE freedom while the main country fighting to make that possible is marching in the opposite direction. We must all be geniuses to keep that contradiction in our minds without going crazy.
It's bizarro world, just plain bass ackwards.
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Old Aug 26, 11, 2:24 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by kirkbauer View Post
Already one of the comments:

"julie, How are the airports procedures illegal? Its your choice to fly or not to fly,"

It is time they just start searching everybody randomly on the street. Will people say "it is your choice to leave your home"?

I was in the DC area, a city I hate to go to for various reasons, and in my rental car, getting off an exit in VA and the police were randomly pulling over and searching cars. Not even a DUI checkpoint (which I don't agree with either) since this was 8AM on Friday morning.

When will people put a stop to this?
What about this gem from Ms Marian Austin:
"What is Amtrak doing to secure, check, and reasuure us, that track, bridges, and stations are being monitored and terrorist proof?"

Oh, I feel so much better knowing citizens like Marian exist. She would probably eagerly allow Federal officers to search her luggage to "reassure" her that the world was safe.

Then there is stunning bit from Elisa D'Alessandro:
"Why is it that there is no baggage check or scanner for people like there is in airports? Anyone could bring ANYTHING on and it's not checked... and neither are the people - I find that a little unsafe that I can get on the train with ANYBODY and they can have pretty much anything they want on them at any given time."

Oh good heavens! You mean someone could bring ANYTHING on board? My gosh, you mean just like at the grocery store, the mall, a movie theater.

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Old Aug 26, 11, 2:37 pm   #10
 
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Great, so now we have Nervous Nellies even on the trains. What has America become? Why do such people travel at all? Why do they even get out of bed? Can we flee the country to some place where someone still values freedom and privacy?
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Old Sep 8, 11, 3:24 pm   #11
 
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Chief O'Connor replies --

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umI0FPJflTI
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Old Sep 8, 11, 4:12 pm   #12
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Originally Posted by VelvetJones View Post
Then there is stunning bit from Elisa D'Alessandro:
"Why is it that there is no baggage check or scanner for people like there is in airports? Anyone could bring ANYTHING on and it's not checked... and neither are the people - I find that a little unsafe that I can get on the train with ANYBODY and they can have pretty much anything they want on them at any given time."
I'm not sure this woman should be allowed to reproduce.

Hey, Elisa, did it ever occur to you that ANYONE could put ANYTHING in their car and drive up right behind you and they haven't even been checked and, come to think of it, neither have you, but just think...ANYONE could do almost ANYTHING to you at ANYTIME if they are really minded to do so.
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Old Sep 8, 11, 4:21 pm   #13
 
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Any chance Ms. D'Alessandro is a shill for the TSA?
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Old Sep 9, 11, 12:03 am   #14
 
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
I'm not sure this woman should be allowed to reproduce.

Hey, Elisa, did it ever occur to you that ANYONE could put ANYTHING in their car and drive up right behind you and they haven't even been checked and, come to think of it, neither have you, but just think...ANYONE could do almost ANYTHING to you at ANYTIME if they are really minded to do so.
I just returned from a jaunt on Amtrak's coast starlight, down from seattle. We went through over a thousand miles of winding remote forest which could have concealed attackers at any point, with countless road crossings where an attacker could have driven a truck into the train.

What are people like Elisa smoking? If you're that scared, don't fly, don't ride the train, don't leave your house!
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Old Sep 9, 11, 1:40 pm   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvAirFrance View Post
Great, so now we have Nervous Nellies even on the trains. What has America become? Why do such people travel at all? Why do they even get out of bed? Can we flee the country to some place where someone still values freedom and privacy?
I'd surmise you're more likely to have nervous nellies on trains than planes because of the perceived higher safety.
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