Notice that the object of the paranoia has shifted from bearded muslim men living in caves to—well, just about anyone who may be doing something wrong or may be thinking about doing something wrong. The police state grows and becomes the norm as airport security paranoia creeps into ever-broader realms of our public lives. It happens incrementally until one day we’re wondering why men with machine guns are walking around in our midst.
ATLANTA — Federal agents launched a counterterrorism operation in Metro Atlanta for the third time in 10 days, inspecting every inch of a downtown Atlanta bus station.
Bomb sniffing dogs and officers from several agencies searched passengers, baggage and vehicles at the Forsyth Street bus station on Wednesday night.
Officials told Channel 2’s Eric Philips there is no particular threat sparking the surge in activity, just their desire to ward off any potential attacks.
The largest contingent of officers was from the Transportation Security Administration, Philips said.
“We’ve got cargo inspectors who are here, we’ve also got explosion detection canines,” said TSA spokesman Jon Allen. “These same things you might see in an aviation setting you’re seeing at a bus terminal,” said Allen.
The event is part of what the TSA calls Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response, or VIPIR, and operation to prevent crime against various forms of transportation.
The bus station search came one week after federal agents forced all tractor-trailers off Interstate 20 in Douglas County. Trucks were inspected, with some sent through a giant x-ray machine and radiation detectors.
TSA officials told Philips they’re not conducting the operation in response to an eminent threat, but rather it sends a signal.
“It sends a visible deterrent, a message, out to anybody who might be thinking about any type of activity to disrupt the transportation system. Obviously when you do those in the event we may find any activity like that we’ve got law enforcement here on the scene,” said Allen.
Read more at WSB TV.