Wednesday, December 14, 2005

TSA - One if by Land, Two if by Sea

Personally, I'm in favor of VIPER - the new program that expands the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) responsibility to marshal our Marshals.

First, the acronym is pretty cool (but you know they were working hard at it, given that it stands for "Visible Intermodal Protection and Response" - Intermodal? Yeah "Relating to transportation by more than one means of conveyance, as by truck and rail: intermodal transport." So it should be spelled VIPAR. But I digress. Alot.)

Second, it's needed. Despite what some say (see blockquote below) local jurisdictions aren't equipped to address the terrorist threat of the 21st century. I'm not a federalist, but when it comes to defense, we need a strong national presence. Some disagree:
"In one word, this is absurd," to put air marshals in bus and train stations, said Doug Laird, a security consultant and former head of security for Northwest Airlines. "This is clearly a responsibility of the local jurisdictions." (washingtonpost.com's Dec 14, 2005 Marshals To Patrol Land, Sea Transport, by Sara Kehaulani Goo)

Well, Doug, that's three words, but who's counting. I happen to agree with David Adams, spokesman for the Federal Air Marshal Service who said:
[M]arshals are the law enforcement arm of the TSA, which is charged with overseeing all modes of transportation -- not just aviation. "This is part of our responsibility to assist in the non-aviation domain," he said. "The whole purpose is that people will not know when we're going to be there or if we are going to be there. It's a preventative approach."

Like a Stealth Viper.

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