Why is the TSA Mission Creeping into DNC Convention Security?

The DNC is happening in Charlotte, North Carolina, and here at Reason we have folks on the ground and folks tweeting up a storm on all the doings and goings-on. For the former crowd, it's possible that they've spotted some familiar, blue-clad government drones as they made their way through security. Yes, the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) is there in Charlotte, too. Garrett Quinn has reported that security overall seems minor compared to the Republican convention (at least for press), but he confirms that there are TSA agents helping with security checks into the arena. This source says 55 agents are present, Quinn suggesed it's more like 20.

The TSA is a favorite boogeyman over at Alex Jones' tinfoilhat-stravaganza infowars.com, but contrary to many of their wilder conclusions about, say, how chemtrails will give us all autism, those conspiracy theorists tend to have a pretty good grasp on the grandma-groping TSA. And recently, infowars have been excellent at pointing out — much more prominently than the mainstream media, who seem to bury this news when they mention it at all— that the TSA's mission creep beyond airports, and even bus stations and highways, has continued into political events. 

As previously mentioned in Reason, several TSA agents were spotted in August, assisting Secret Service agents at a Florida Paul Ryan rally. Shouldn't people be asking why the hell workers who belong in airports, or at least something related to transportation, are now expanding their mission to political conventions? Ostensibly, the TSA is used to dealing with checking masses of people for weapons, but transportation is right there in the name. It's complete mission creep to have them move into being all-purpose security at events. Or, worse still, the "transportation" part of their name now officially refers to walking as well.

Reason TV's TSA playlist:

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  • ||

    Because these people are scum, that's why.

    Lucy, next time you're being groped by these venal idiots, do what my dad does and ask them if they're proud of what they're doing. The reactions are always fun.

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    Weirdly enough, I haven't flown since '09 so I am still ungroped.

    I already disliked flying, so it ain't gonna be fun next time. Ugh.

    Man was not meant to drink ginger ale while sitting in an uncomfortable seat, 6,000 feet above the summit of Everest.

  • SugarFree||

    I got rapiscanned and groped last time. I still think about his tender caress.

  • ||

    You didn't decline the pornoscanner? I've declined it a few times, and it wasn't too horrible. Of course, I like getting groped, so there's that.

  • SugarFree||

    If they want to look at me all grainy and naked, it's more of a punishment to them than to me.

  • ||

    I only declined the pornoscanner once. The TSA agent asked why and I said because it's my right. At that point the agent pointed out that the scanner is only used in that line, and in the future I should just pick any of the security lines WITHOUT a giant scanner at the end of it. It was nice to have a TSA agent actually be useful for once.

  • ||

    I always, always angle for the line that doesn't use the pornoscanner, because there is almost always at least one. It worked easily in Logan and Sea-Tac, but for some reason in Honolulu they specifically directed me to the scanner line, which I then refused. Come to think of it, they did that in Maui too. Maybe it's a Hawaiian thing.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    At Port C'Bus, all the lines have rapyscanners. Test market, and all that.
    (and -- Always opt out!)

  • BakedPenguin||

    Or, worse still, the "transportation" part of their name now officially refers to walking as well.

    The "Transportation" part of their name obviously refers to Interstate Commerce, meaning their bailiwick is every human activity imaginable.

  • ||

    I knew there was a reason I saw a TSA agent guarding Roscoe Filburn's wheat field.

  • SugarFree||

    Just drop the "T" or change it to "The." The Security Agency or Total Security Agency. Or go full out with the ominous overtones: Totipotent Security Agency. There's no way you can say they are engaging in mission creep that way.

  • WTF||

    Shouldn't people be asking why the hell workers who belong in airports, or at least something related to transportation, are now expanding their mission to political conventions?

    Fuck you, that's why.

  • ||

    Mission creep is literally the mission of all government agencies. There is no surprise here.

    but contrary to many of their wilder conclusions about, say, how chemtrails will give us all autism

    Speaking of which, I saw Toxic Skies this weekend. Not very good, but not terrible. But they gypped me: it was supposed to be in Seattle, the initial title card said "Seattle 1996" and then "12 years later", and then all of a sudden they're in Spokane for the rest of the movie. WTF?

  • SugarFree||

    Seattle became Spokane in 2008, you cartographic retard. Everyone knows that.

  • ||

  • SugarFree||

    You fucked that link up hard. All I saw was a close-up of Rick Astley's taint.

  • ||

    Then it worked!

  • ||

    So, Lucy, looked at Jezebel today?

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    ...Yes.

  • ||

    For shame, Lucy, for shame. I thought you were going to stay away today?

  • Fisher1949||

    How does a convention fit within the Transportation portion of TSA’s mission? This agency has no business acting as security in any non-transportation venue, whether a campaign appearance or a sporting event. This agency is completely out of control and its personnel and management need to held accountable and fired for this overreach.

    Is TSA now a National police force, like the German Stasi? Anyone attending these events should tell the TSA goon to get lost and defy them to do anything about it.

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