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: