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.
Tags: Basil; VIPER