TSA Gestapo Empire

It doesn`t take a bureaucrat long
to create an empire. John Pistole, the FBI agent who
took over the Transportation Security Administration on
July 1

told USA Today 16 days later
that protecting
trains and subways from terrorist attacks will be as
high a priority for him as air travel. 

It is difficult to imagine New
Yorkers being porno-screened and sexually groped on
crowed subway platforms or showing up an hour or two in
advance for clearance for a 15 minute subway ride, but
once bureaucrats get the bit in their teeth they take
absurdity to its logical conclusion. Buses will be next,
although it is even more difficult to imagine open air
bus stops turned into security zones with screeners and
gropers inspecting passengers before they board.

Will taxi passengers be next? 
In those Muslim lands whose citizens the US government
has been slaughtering for years, favorite weapons for
retaliating against the Americans are car and truck
bombs. How long before Pistole announces that the TSA
Gestapo is setting up roadblocks on city streets,
highways and interstates to check cars for bombs?

That 15 minute trip to the grocery
store then becomes an all day affair.

Indeed, it has already begun. Last
September agents from Homeland Security, TSA, and the US
Department of Transportation, assisted by the Douglas
County Sheriff`s Office, conducted a counter-terrorism
operation on busy Interstate 20 just west of Atlanta,
Georgia. Designated VIPER (Visible Inter-mobile
Prevention and Response), the operation required all
trucks to stop to be screened for bombs. Federal agents
used dogs, screening devices, and a large drive-through
bomb detection machine. Imagine what the delays did to
delivery schedules and truckers` bottom lines.

There are also news reports of
federal trucks equipped with backscatter X-ray devices
that secretly scan cars and pedestrians. 

With such expensive
counter-terrorism activities, both in terms of the
hard-pressed taxpayers` money and civil liberties, one
would think that bombs were going off all over America. 
But, of course, they aren`t. There has not been a
successful terrorist act since 9/11, and thousands of
independent experts doubt the government`s explanation
of that event.

Subsequent domestic terrorist
events have turned out to be FBI sting operations in
which FBI agents organize not-so-bright disaffected
members of society and lead them into displaying
interest in participating in a terrorist act.  Once
the FBI agent, pretending to be a terrorist, succeeds in
prompting all the right words to be said and captured on
his hidden recorder, the
are arrested and the

The very fact that the FBI has to
orchestrate fake terrorism proves the absence of real

If Americans were more thoughtful
and less gullible, they might wonder why all the
emphasis on transportation when there are so many soft
targets.  Shopping centers, for example. If there
were enough terrorists in America to justify the
existence of Homeland Security, bombs would be going off
round the clock in shopping malls in every state. The
effect would be far more terrifying than blowing up an

Indeed, if terrorists want to
attack air travelers, they never need to board an

All they need to do is to join the
throngs of passengers waiting to go through the TSA
scanners and set off their bombs. The TSA has
conveniently assembled the targets.

The final proof that there are no
terrorists is that not a single neoconservative or
government official responsible for the Bush regime`s
invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the Obama regime`s
slaughters of Pakistanis, Yemenis, and Somalians has
been assassinated.  None of these Americans who are
responsible for lies, deceptions, and invasions that
have destroyed the lives of countless numbers of Muslims
have any security protection. If Muslims were capable of
pulling off 9/11, they are certainly capable of
assassinating Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Libby,
Condi Rice, Kristol, Bolton, Goldberg, and scores of
others during the same hour of the same day. 

I am not advocating that terrorists
assassinate anyone. I am just making the point that if
the US was as overrun with terrorists as empire-building
bureaucrats pretend, we would definitely be experiencing
dramatic terrorist acts. The argument is not believable
that a government that was incapable of preventing 9/11
is so all-knowing that it can prevent assassination of
unprotected neocons and shopping malls from being

If Al Qaeda was anything like the
organization that the US government claims, it would not
be focused on trivial targets such as passenger
airliners. The organization, if it exists, would be
focused on its real enemies. Try to imagine the
propaganda value of terrorists wiping out the
neoconservatives in one fell swoop, followed by an
announcement that every member of the federal government
down to the lowest GS, every member of the House and
Senate, and every governor was next in line to be bumped

This would be real terrorism
instead of the make-belief stuff associated with shoe
bombs that don`t work, underwear bombs that independent
experts say could not work, and bottled water and
shampoo bombs that experts say cannot possibly be put
together in airliner lavatories. 

Think about it.  Would a
terror organization capable of outwitting all 16 US
intelligence agencies, all intelligence agencies of US
allies including Israel`s Mossad, the National Security
Council, NORAD, air traffic control, the Pentagon, and
airport security four times in one hour put its
unrivaled prestige at risk with improbable shoe bombs,
shampoo bombs, and underwear bombs?  

After success in destroying the
World Trade Center and blowing up part of the Pentagon,
it is an extraordinary comedown to go after a mere
airliner.  Would a person who gains fame by
knocking out the world heavyweight boxing champion make
himself a laughing stock by taking lunch money from
school boys?

TSA is a far greater threat to
Americans than are terrorists. Pistole has given the
finger to US senators and representatives, state
legislators, and the traveling public who have expressed
their views that virtual strip searches and sexual
molestation are too high a price to pay for
Indeed, the TSA with its Gestapo attitude and methods,
is succeeding in making Americans more terrified of the
TSA than they are of terrorists. 

Make up your own mind.  What
terrifies you the most.  Terrorists, who in all
likelihood you will never encounter in your lifetime, or
the TSA that you will encounter every time you fly and
soon, according to Pistole, every time you take a train,
a subway, or drive in a car or truck?  

Before making up your mind,

consider this report from antiwar.com
on November
19: "TSA officials say that anyone refusing both the full body scanners and
the enhanced pat down procedures will be taken into
custody. Once there the detainees will not only be
barred from flying, but will be held indefinitely as
suspected terrorists . . . One sheriff`s office said
they were already preparing to handle a large number of
detainees and plan to treat them as terror suspects." 

Who is cowing Americans into
submission, terrorists or the TSA Gestapo?

Paul Craig Roberts

was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during
President Reagan`s first term.  He was Associate
Editor of the
Wall Street Journal.  He has
held numerous academic appointments, including the
William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and
International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior
Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford
University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French
President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of

Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider`s Account of
Policymaking in Washington
and the Soviet Economy


Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy
and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of

The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and
Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name
of Justice
. Click


for Peter Brimelow`s
Forbes Magazine
interview with Roberts about the epidemic of
prosecutorial misconduct.