fearful population = compliant population

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Amtrak will start randomly screening passengers' carry-on bags this week in a new security push that includes officers with automatic weapons and bomb-sniffing dogs patrolling platforms and trains.

The initiative, to be announced by the railroad on Tuesday, is a significant shift for Amtrak. Unlike the airlines, it has had relatively little visible increase in security since the 2001 terrorist attacks, a distinction that has enabled it to attract passengers eager to avoid airport hassles.

Atrios said this:

Trains are not planes, and random checks like this are pointless.

I respectfully disagree.  These searches may well have a distinct purpose: immigration enforcement.  Lately, I have been hearing from clients about immigration searches on trains in upstate New York, even on trains that do not cross into Canada.  Undocumented New Yorkers take a risk anytime they leave the city.  Any undocumented immigrant anywhere in the country takes a risk whenever he or she rides a train or a bus outside a sanctuary city, a risk that passengers will be stopped and searched and questioned about their immigration status.  Those who can't persuade officials of their lawful status may be issued a notice to appear in immigration court for removal proceedings.  This constitutes another step on our national path towards a security state of the kind that would make any 20th-century totalitarian proud. 

These random checks are far from pointless.

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kyledeb said:

Very true, yave,

The most important thing those checks do is make for a compliant population. I mean imagine the level of authority it requires millions of people to take off their belts and their shoes for "safety".

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This page contains a single entry by David Bennion published on February 19, 2008 12:40 AM.

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